As the threat to global demand for oil gradually dwindles, Nigeria has been advised to increase its investments in renewable energy.
This was the submission of the Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, Engineer Chikezie Nwosu, at the pre-event press briefing of the SPE Annual Oloibiri Lecture series in Lagos with the theme ‘’The Nigerian Oil Industry in a World of Changing Energy Supply: Are we prepared?’.
The Chairman emphasized that, it has become clear with anticipated growth in energy demand, the world is rapidly moving towards an age of cleaner sources of energy, adding that, for fossil fuels, this will mean a greater reliance on gas and less reliance on oil especially, coal.
In addition, Nwosu noted that hydroelectric and gas powered cars will replace diesel engines and, with time, gasoline engines. According to him, ‘‘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 learnings to prepare for an energy mix that will become less reliant on the more polluting fossil fuels.
He stated thus, 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,’’ he warned.
The SPE Chairman believed that, there are many opinions on how long reliance on fossil fuels will last and 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 faith 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.
Other areas of support according to Nwosu, include; collaborating with government agencies in such areas as indigenizing research and development capacity and capability, supporting the provision of pedagogical aids to universities and training institutes, ensuring the curriculum for Geosciences and related disciplines in the universities delivering industry-ready graduates, supporting the strategic and ethical leadership of the next generation of entrepreneurs. Employers and workers in the energy industry will be aligned with the ‘7 Big Wins’ initiative of the Federal Government.