As global demand for fossil fuels begins to dwindle, Nigeria needs to increase its investments in renewable energy, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, has advised.
Its Chairman, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, gave the advice while unveiling the society’s plan for the upcoming SPE annual Oloibiri Lecture series in Lagos with the theme: “Nigerian oil industry in a world of changing energy supply: Are we prepared?” He said it had become clear that with anticipated growth in energy demand and cleaner environment, the world was rapidly moving towards an age of cleaner sources of energy. He added that for fossil fuels, it would mean a greater reliance on gas and less reliance on oil and especially coal.
Nwosu said hydro-electric and gas-powered cars would replace diesel engines and, with time, gasoline engines.
He said: “Add to this is the growing investments in renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, it becomes evident that Nigeria must rethink or rejig its energy policy to solidify on the gains in the oil and gas industry (the 7Big Wins), and leverage these learnings 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 environmental damaging energy and we (Nigeria) must be ready now.”
Nwosu noted that there were many opinions on how long reliance on fossil fuels would last. Many 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 had played a major role in ensuring that Nigeria would 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 said the SPE would 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.
Other areas of support, according to him, include collaborating with government agencies in such areas as indigenising research and development (R&D) capacity and capability, supporting the provision of pedagogical aids to universities and training Institutes.
Also ensuring that the curriculum for geosciences and related disciplines in the university delivers industry-ready graduates and supporting the strategic and ethical leadership of the next generation of entrepreneurs, employers and workers in the energy industry and aligned with the ‘7 Big Wins’ initiative of the Federal Government.
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