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Oil threat: SPE urges more investment in renewable energy

Oil threat: SPE urges more investment in renewable energy

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Adewale Sanyolu

As global concerns mount over the fate of fossil fuel in the future, Nigeria has been advised to invest more in renewable energy in order to reap its inherent gains.

Stakeholders at different fora have advocated that the President Muhammadu Buhari led government increase its investment in renewable energy as part of efforts to end the country’s dependence on fossil fuel.

The latest call on the government to increase its renewable energy investments came from the Chairman, Society Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu.

Nwosu, who spoke at the pre-event press briefing of the SPE Annual Oloibiri Lecture series in Lagos yesterday with the theme ‘’The Nigerian Oil Industry in a World of Changing Energy Supply: Are we prepared?’.

Emphasised that it was now clear that with anticipated growth in energy demand, the world was rapidly moving towards the age of cleaner sources of energy, stressing that for fossil fuels, this will mean a greater reliance on gas and less reliance on oil and especially coal.

He said hydroelectric and gas-powered cars will replace diesel engines and with time, gasoline engines.

‘‘Add to this the growing investments in renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, and it becomes evident that Nigeria must rethink (or rejig) its energy policy to solidify on the gains in the oil and gas industry (the 7 Big Wins), and leverage on these lessons to prepare for an energy mix that will become less reliant on the more polluting fossil fuels.

The pressure from the next generation of leaders will drive technological advances that will result in less reliance on environmentaly damaging energy and we (Nigeria) must be ready now,’’ he warned.

The SPE Chairman noted that there are many opinions on how long reliance on fossil fuels will last as most of these opinions are predicated on the huge remaining resources of oil and gas. However, one must note the often quoted statement that, “the stone age did not end because mankind ran out of stones, and the oil age will end long before we run out of oil.”

He maintained that fate has played a major role in ensuring that Nigeria can stay ahead with abundant energy from the sun, wind energy in many northern parts of the country and an estimated 190 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas and prospective resources that could be as high as 600tcf.

As an advocacy group, he disclosed that SPE will continue to play a strong role in policy direction and execution through ensuring that the outcome of its engagements are well documented and presented to the authorities, encouraging its members to provide the expertise in their fields to government either through consultancy or service, provide forums for bringing the world to Nigeria and Nigeria to the world.

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