By Sylvester Thompson
Prof. Eli Bala, Director General of Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), says moving away from high carbon energy sources to low carbon energy sources will boost Nigeria’s energy sector.
Bala who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the sidelines of the ECN Quarterly Energy Lecture Series on Thursday in Abuja, said the transition will benefit Nigeria.
He said the transition must be done cleverly in the country in an equitable manner for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“First we must appreciate that we need energy for our development and electricity at affordable cost and very reliable.
“We must have the energy for transportation, for industrialisation , for commercial activities, but the question is how do we go about it,’’ Bala asked.
He noted that in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), natural gas is a transition fuel which the present administration places much emphasis on, and that it must be developed together with other renewable energy.
The ECN boss explained that Nigeria has the resources, and in developing these renewables which also include biomass, hydro power among others, it has to be done with a technology involving energy efficiency.
Bala said for less carbon emissions, Nigeria is capable of developing biofuel or bioethanol which is a substitute for fuel also known as Premium Motor Spirit.
He stated that it was possible for Nigeria to also develop a substitute for diesel fuel which is biofuel used in heavy duty machines and equipment.
Accordingly, he pointed out that biofuel is increasingly attracting attention worldwide as a direct replacement for diesel fuel in diesel engines.
He said all these and more would be possible through continuous development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
“Agriculture employs a lot of people, we can mechanise agriculture and make sure that more people produce the much needed carbon nitride, the bio fuel, the bioethanol and biodiesel.
“All these options are on ground, in fact the National Energy Policy emphasises the need for a wider energy mix based on the energy resources we have in this county,’’ Bala said.
He maintained that human capacity development was a pivotal element in achieving desired results.
He said the development of human capacity was very essential, not only in energy transition but to the nation as a whole.
To develop the capacity of Nigerians, Bala emphasised the need for the creation of an enabling environment with an educational system that encourages creative thinking.
According to him, with this in place, Nigeria will be able to resolve all her issues in-house.
He said that the ECN Quarterly Lecture Series was one of the mandates of the commission.
“The law establishing the Energy Commission empowers it to produce strategic plans and coordinate national policies in the field of energy in all ramifications, but we realised we could not do this alone.’’
He said the lecture series commenced this year so that members of staff and as well as management staff of the commission could be availed knowledge in the entire spectrum of the energy sector.
“So we invited academics, experts from the industry, from the government to tell us more about topical issues because the only way one can plan is to have in-depth knowledge of the sector.’’
Prof. Wumi Iledare delivered a lecture entitled: Developing Strategies for Nigeria’s Energy Transition, while Elder Boma Benebo lectured on: Financing Options for Renewable Energy in Nigeria. (NAN)