UTILISING CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR MEETING NIGERIA’S ENERGY NEEDS
Coal is expected to remain one of the dominant fuels in global electricity power generation as a result of its low cost, high reliability and high availability. In Nigeria, however, coal is yet to make a significant contribution to Nigeria’s energy needs because of the numerous challenges associated with coal electricity power generation. One of the challenges is that the use of coal to generate electric power produces toxic gases which are hazardous to human health and the environment; it is also perceived as dirty to the environment. This paper focuses on the roles clean coal technologies can play in the sustainable exploitation of Nigeria’s coal reserves and how it can be effectively utilized to meet Nigeria’s energy needs. The Nigerian situation on electricity is reviewed, and the Nigerian national policy on coal utilization is evaluated. Recommendations on methods for implementing some aspects of the Nigerian national coal policy are made. Many clean coal technologies that can help overcome the challenges of electric power generation were also reviewed. It is concluded that the core of the Nigerian national policy on coal should be the promotion of clean coal technology for electricity production. Clean coal technologies can reduce the hazardous gaseous emissions generated by the thermal decomposition of the fuel. By developing clean coal technologies, Nigeria will be able to use her considerable coal resources better and reduce the emissions of harmful substances associated with coal mining, thereby make a significant contribution to Nigeria’s energy needs.