Nigeria is a country blessed abundantly with various potential sources of energy. For survival, humans need energy cutting across various forms in effectively carrying out daily activities.
Based on exhaustibility and replenish tendencies, energy forms are majorly classified as renewable and non-renewable energy. Solar, wind, geothermal, tides and hydro constitute renewables owing to their replenish tendencies while, fossil fuels, coal and natural gas are limited in quantities upon serial extractions; they could fizzle out after few years.
Nigeria’s predominant source of energy is non-renewable, evidence is shown in overdependence on petrol in fuelling cars and generators, Liquefied Natural Gas in cooking and powering plants while adoption of solar in powering street lights and boreholes has started gaining momentum.
Perpetual climate change prompted environmental experts to embark on holistic climate change research, their inferences highlighted CO2 emission as detrimental factor contributing to depletion of ozone layers; the ozone layer which shields the earth from intense radiation. Their inferences indicated that non-renewable energy form is found culpable due to large percentage of CO2 that do accompany its usage.
Adoption of alternative form of energy culminated to paradigm shift towards adoption and advocacy of total renewable forms of energy. According to Renewable Energy Network for the 21st (REN21), 164 countries all around the world have renewable energy targets and 145 of these countries are backed up with detailed policies. India is a glaring committed country as stated by Ritwajit Das that “By 2020, India plans to install 2,500MW biomass energy, 20,000MW of Solar, and 39,000MW of wind”. Then, one is tempted to ask, won’t Nigeria be left out in this global renewable energy transition?
A research carried out by Okafor and Uzuegbu revealed that Nigeria is endowed with annual average daily sunshine of 6.25 hours with average daily solar radiation of about 5.25 KW/m2/day, while, Garba and Bashir’s study indicated that Nigeria’s 1.804 × 1015 Kwh of incident annual solar energy needed about 3.70 percent of national land area in achieving nation’s conventional energy reserve.
Corroborating Nigeria’s abundant renewable energy sources, Sambo’s study highlighted that annual wind speed ranges from 2.32m/s for Port Harcourt and 3.8m/s for Sokoto with maximum extractable power per unit area for the two locations estimated as 4.51 and 21.97 W/m2 of blade area respectively. Installation of wind turbines and adoption of solar will further augment the dwindling paltry power generation.
Economic hardships courtesy of the recent fall in oil prices serve as litmus test of what Nigerians should expect upon full renewable energy transition of committed nations. The bitter truth needs to be told, Nigeria’s gas reserves may fizzle out in 79 years; this was affirmed by Mr Antigha Ekaluo of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). A bad omen for Nigeria’s oil is likelihood of embracing electric cars as being insinuated by certain countries towards 2050; which may lead to irrelevance of our oil in the global market.
As an advocate of climate adaptation and mitigation, towards preventing future acute paralysis of the country’s economy, I wish to urge our leaders to effectively manage the proceeds accrued from oil by exploiting other means of generating funds in sustaining the fragile economy against the looming winter time also, total embracement of renewable energy in securing the future should be incorporated. The government should oversee ratification and implementation of policies that will harness our renewables towards achieving 100 percent renewables ahead of United Nations climate negotiations in Paris which is hinged on total renewable target. Towards preserving the earth, it is believed that implementation of resolutions reached at the conference will catapult the world to negligible Co2 emissions thereby, bequeathing a preserved abode for coming generations.
So that Nigeria won’t be left stranded, it is high time Nigeria shifted from to be soon archaic non-renewable energy form and harness renewable energy sources within her milieu coupled with adoption and implementation of policies that will spring Nigeria into spiral comity of nations envisioning 100 percent renewables.
Written by: ODEWALE Abayomi Joseph
(Oyo, Oyo State)