Economic assessment of biomass gasification technology in providing sustainable electricity in Nigerian rural areas.
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GARBA, A. and KISHK, M. 2015. Economic assessment of biomass gasification technology in providing sustainable electricity in Nigerian rural areas. In Proceedings of the international sustainable ecological engineering design for society (SEEDS) conference, 17-18 September 2015, Leeds, UK.
Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) in general, and biomass source in particular, remains one of the means of providing sustainable electricity to rural areas in developing countries. This is because of its strategic value in identifying when and where electricity is really required thus, reducing/eliminating the high cost of grid network. The majority of Nigeria's rural dwellers are farmers and use little or none of their residues at the end of the farming season. Nigeria has also been experiencing dwindling power supply at both national and rural level with accessibility representing only 35% and 10% respectively. The rural areas are the most affected causing significant disruption of their socio-economic settings. Considering the enormous biomass resources in these communities, and they constitute approximately 65% of the country's total population, it is feasible to provide sustainable electricity to these communities through Biomass Gasification Technology (BGT). Cost has been found to be the major constraint in adopting RETs. Hence, this paper aims to evaluate and optimise the unit cost of generating electricity through BGT in Nigerian rural areas. Whole Life Costing approach has been used to evaluate various capacities of BGT. The findings reflect that cost/kW of BGT ranges between US$594(NGN118, 800)-US$3,604(NGN720,800) for capacities between 125kW-10kW. The Net Present Value(NPV)/kWh of generating electricity has been calculated for several scenarios including 125kW, 100kW, 50kW, 32kW, 24kW and 10kW system capacities under 3 different operational hours (8, 12 and 16), with and without feed-in tariff(FIT) incentive is from US$0.015-US$0.11(NGN3.08-N21.79). The only scenario that exceeds the current unit price of generating electricity from fossil fuel source in Nigeria which is averagely US$0.083(NGN16.50) is 8 hour operation without FIT at 10kW capacity. More so, in the event fuel wood price increases by 50%, 75% and 100%, the average increase in NPV/kWh will be 13%, 20% and 27% respectively.