An Overview of Geothermal Energy Resources in Nigeria
1Dorcas S. Eyinla, 2Michael A. Oladunjoye, 1Thompson H.T. Ogunribido and 1Olumuyiwa A. Odundun
1Department of Earth Sciences, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Nigeria
2Department of Geology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
The epileptic electricity power supply has become a fundamental issue affecting the economic development of Nigeria. Geothermal energy, which results from the radioactive decay of minerals within the Earth’s core and solar energy absorbed at the surface, have been discovered and are being utilized by several countries. Nigeria is still far behind in tapping the abundance of geothermal energy resources. Ikogosi warm spring in Southwestern Nigeria is a good geological evidence of potential geothermal energy. Hydrothermal reservoirs can serve as a sustainable potential source of energy because it is renewable. To bring the water or steam from such reservoir to the surface, wells are drilled into them. If the fluid is hot enough, steam bubbles will occur and cause the water to flow naturally to the surface as hot/warm springs, fumaroles and geysers. Ikogosi and other warm springs are visible evidence of geothermal energy in Nigeria. Nigeria may have her energy problem solved if the abundance of geothermal resources, especially one with temperature high enough to generate electricity is utilized. The geological features and subsurface temperature data of oil and shallow water wells from both Northern and Southern part of the Country point to the possible presence of geothermal energy due to the thermal gradient. If tapped, this will serve as alternative energy, as being utilized by several other countries since it can produce base load electricity which is reliable and sustainable unlike many other renewable technologies that are affected by weather and seasonal variations.