By Obas Esiedesa
The Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) has called for the diversification of Nigeria’s energy supply base for the economy using a combination of fossil and non-fossil fuel.
NAEE, an affiliate of International Association for Energy Economics, made the call in a communiqué issued after a virtual Symposium to mark the 2020 World Energy Day Celebration.
It had theme: “Sustainable Energy Systems and Development in Nigeria- Options for the Future”.
The symposium was held in collaboration with the Emerald Energy Institute Port Harcourt.
In the communiqué issued by NAEE President, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, the participants held that energy is essential to modern life, explaining that the difference between the quality of lives of individuals in advanced and developing economies depends to a great extent on the quantity and quality of energy available to them.
“Nigeria is blessed with diverse energy resources that are fairly distributed across geographical space of the country; however the vulnerabilities and resilience of the energy system have implications for development as is broadly defined.
“Economic development is sustained economic growth accompanied by improvement in average standard of living; it is also a means of happiness which really should be the ultimate desire of man.
“Sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs, as defined by the Brundtland Commission in 1987.
“Sustainable energy systems and development embrace fossil and non-fossil components, environmental sustainability, energy security and energy equity.
“The abundance of Nigeria’s energy resources can be presented as follows: 37 billion barrels of proven Oil reserve; 5.4 trillion cubic metres proven gas reserves; 2.175 billion tonnes of proven Coal deposits; 3.5-7.5kwh/m2-day Solar Radiation; 3500 MW small Hydro energy source; 11,235 MW Large Hydro energy source and not the least 2-4m/s at 10m height energy source from wind”.
The group posited that for Nigeria to develop robust sustainable energy systems it needs to utilise of all energy resource endowments of the country, diversify of energy supply base of the economy, pursue regional and international collaboration and cooperation, such as through the West African Petroleum Producers (WAPP),WAGP, GGC, build gas storage facilities as well as building reliable grid systems that incorporate fossils and non-fossil fuels.
On energy equity, the experts held that the options available to Nigeria include:
“Creation of new and efficient institutions and structures for the energy sector; Deregulation of the downstream sector to allow for private sector participation and expand mini grid options”.
“These are essential for the efficient functioning of sustainable energy systems which are essential for the economic and sustainable development of Nigeria.
“There was the consensus that Nigerian should have embraced these options long ago, and therefore, the opinion was that it was imperative for the government to start implementing these measures as part of a sustained programmes for the development of sustainable energy systems for Nigeria”, NAEE added.
Experts at the event include the Director of Emerald Energy Institute, Dr Chijioke Nwaozuzu; past President of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) and the Director of the Centre for Petroleum Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, Professor Adeola Adenikinju; Prof. Chidi A. Ibe, Professor of Oceanography and The Blue Economy, NUC, and Dr Joy Ogaji, MD/CEO Association of Power Generation Companies.