Electric Power Sector Inquiry Book, by Dr. Victor Udo, Second Book, Publication

Electric Power Sector Inquiry: A Nigerian Perspective

The book is a critical social inquiry into the electric power sector from a Nigerian perspective. The Nigerian abysmal performance in this regard is diagnosed and narrowed down to excessive negative instead of neutral (pure profit) and altruistic interests. Negative interests of greed and corruption is identified as the fundamental cause of the Nigerian electric power sector problems. Using the notion of the concentric hexagons, the author explored the past and pivoted to the future of the sector in a general setting towards global sustainability. Four concentric hexagons are used to explore the contemporary and emerging nature of the sector - hexagon of infrastructure, hexagon of core competency, hexagon of technological convergence and hexagon of architecture.

The book is covered in seven chapters. Chapter One is the introduction while Chapter Two is focused on the Nigerian electric power sector historically, contemporary and what to expect in the future. Particular attention is placed on the sector reforms under Presidents Obasanjo and Johnathan which resulted in the passage and implementation of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) of 2005. Also in Chapter Two, the sector reform under President Johnathan which culminated in the privatization of the generation and distribution subsectors summarized. Both President Obasanjo and President Johnathan’s reforms were centered mostly on and the national-grid improvements.

The above reference reforms although not directly focused on; but have consequential impacts on the continental Giga-grid, West-African regional Mega-grid and the State level Macro, Micro, and Pico grids.  As a representative of these supra and sub grids, a Macro-grid potential in the Akwa Ibom State perspective is presented in the chapter.  The Akwa Ibom power sector is very important and significant being the primary base and basis of the observer-communicative participation of this critical social inquiry. The three combined sub-areas of the sector – power production (fuel supply and power generation), power delivery (transmission and distribution), power utility (utilization and metering) are used to situate Akwa Ibom State electric power sector as a potential Macro grid.  Finally, the negative interests of false consciousness in the Nigerian electric power sector is summarized with some antidote.  Chapters Three, Four, Five and Six normatively presents the physical infrastructure management, the required core competency, technological convergence opportunities and the emergent globalized hierarchy of power sect grids architecture respectively. 

Chapter Three covers how physical infrastructure should be managed in a typical well-functioning power sector beginning with an understanding of the value constellation Vs. value chain narratives. We then proceed to consider the critical components or subsystems of the sector’ covered as the hexagon of power sector infrastructure. The six sides of this hexagon represent: the Prime Resources (Fuel and Renewables); Generation and Storage (Production); Transmission and Distribution (Delivery); Consumption (Lighting, Appliances, Machineries transportation and other types of Loads); Revenue Management (Meters and Metering); Customer Service/Care (Call Center, Field Service and Bots). Lastly in this chapter, the International, National, States and Local Government Areas (LGAs) public policy implications for these subsystems are summarized concluding with a call for infrastructural leadership in the sector.

Chapter Four covers the normative human capital development and management as the second of the four concentric hexagons. The six sides of this hexagon of power sector core competencies consists of Public Policy; Corporate Governance/Strategy; Finance, Administration/Stakeholders Management; Engineering/Construction; Supply Chain/Procurement; and Operations, Scheduling/Maintenance. Effective public policy leadership, corporate governance and strategic management are the basic antidotes for minimizing negative interests in the sector. Engineering, design and construction are essential for the physical infrastructure development and management. Operations, scheduling and maintenance ensures effective the day to day functioning of the infrastructure.

Supply chain/procurement management and very importantly, stakeholders (customers, shareholders, employees, etc.) relationships management along with finance, accounting and administration are critical people to people core competencies. The chapter concludes with the author’s observer-communicative participation examples in both the public and private spaces of the sector. Finally, the implication and application of these core competency management narratives to the Nigerian electric power sector is presented in anticipation of the expected technological convergence and the emerging hierarchy of grids covered in Chapters Five and Six respectively.

Electric power centric technological convergence is the subject of Chapter Five beginning with the basic definition, example and benefit of technological convergence in the telecommunication sector. Power sector hexagon of technological convergence is introduced.  The six sides of this hexagon are:  Distributed Renewable Energy Resources (DRER)/Smart Grids; Re-electrification of Transportation/Mobility (Electric Vehicles – EV and Autonomous Vehicles – AV); Internet of Things (IOT); Distributed Ledger Technology – DLT (Blockchain); Artificial Intelligence (AI); and Digitally Enabled Sustainable Development (DESD).  

The application and implication of these convergence on the four spaces of human activities ecosystem (personal domain, home domain, mobility domain and business domain) are explored along with the potential bundling of the traditional utility services such as water, fuel supply, waste management, telecommunication and entertainment. Finally, in the chapter, we consider the people, process and technology integration these technological convergence and services bundling towards ultimate convenience from electric power centric utility services for profit making and sustainable development.

Chapter Six presents the emergent electric power grid architecture as a natural evolution of the technological convergence and global demand for sustainable development.  The chapter begins with the historical and contemporary architecture of electric power sector infrastructure. Using the hexagon of power sector hierarchical architecture the six levels of power sector hierarchy is covered. The six sides of this hexagon are:  Giga Grids (Inter-continental, less than 10 globally); Mega Grids (Intra-continental regions, less than 100 globally); National Grids (At least one in each country, less than 400); Macro Grids (in thousands and millions globally); Micro Grids (in multiple of millions globally as neighborhoods of buildings-estates, industrial parks and campuses become independent grids) and Pico Grids (in billions as vehicles and buildings become grids). Note that Mini Grids are made up of Pico, Micro, and Macro Grids. The integration, autonomy, control and adaptability of this hierarchy of grids is considered along with the potential role of electric power sector as an enabler of global sustainability.

Chapter Seven is the conclusion where transformational advocacy is presented for human capacity of core competency for sustainable infrastructure planning and management.  Global public policy such as the UN 17 SDGs must be leveraged to ensure that electric power sector enables and support the 6Rs of global sustainability: Reducing consumption with efficiency and conservation; Recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, metals; Reusing of assets e.g. making existing houses/vehicles carbon neutral; Restoring treasures e.g. making communities whole for equity reasons; Replenishing ecosystems e.g. reclamation and tree planting; Resource sharing models e.g. Uber for vehicles, AirBNB for houses and Goodwill for clothing, books and other similar items. The book ends with recommendation on how to use educational campuses, communities and subnational polities as living laboratories to test and institutionalize the efficacy of the concentric hexagon of electric power sector for equitable global sustainability.

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