Accelerating Sustainable Energy Solutions through Policy Formulation

Mr. Bala Wunti, GGM NAPIMS

…Electricity demand will increase by 2050.

…Fossil fuel still relevant as source of energy across the globe.

…By 2020, world oil demand will surpass pre-Covid while it will increase to 104 million barrels.

…Decarbonisation, decentralization and digitilisation will enhance the energy industry.

-By Felix Douglas

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, giving his key note address at the Energy Sustainability Conference (ESC) hosted by Energy Institute, Nigeria in partnership with Department for International Trade, United Kingdom, revealed that 85 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity.

The GMD was represented by Mr. Bala Wunti, Group General Manager (GGM), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

Kyari lamented that energy poverty level is devastating. In terms of energy consumption, Nigeria is still below 1kilowats per capita of electricity which is low hence energy poverty is raging in the country. But Nigeria is still better than some African countries. How can energy be delivered in a sustainable manner? “This is the nexus that we need to connect and see where we can play the role. With regards to climate change, we need to make sure the climate get better.”

The title of his keynote address was ‘Accelerating Sustainable Energy Solutions through Policy Formulation: Prospects and Limitations.’

According to the GMD, population of the world recently received by World Bank is about 7.7billion people and world GDP has grown up to $85 trillion. Global energy consumption is in the neighbourhood of 3.1kilowats.

Looking at the world’s population and growing activities in the world, it is obvious that energy demand will grow and the question is, where will the energy come from? It has to be through different sources. Therefore, the implication for all stakeholders is to seek for sustainable energy across the globe.

Nigeria should ensure that the country’s energy is secured, sustainable and available for its people. Accessibility is also key and it must be affordable to end users. These four mantras constitute energy security hence the need to make it cleaner presents a challenge for policy makers.

Kyari stated that world electricity demand will be high by 2050 with estimated increase globally. Where will the world gets its energy demand? This means there will be energy poverty and more demand by emerging population across the globe with cost implication.

He told the audience at ESC conference that stakeholders must recognize the fact that oil and gas is still relevant with fossil fuel. The global energy crisis is an eye opener that the world needs fossil fuel without having credible replacement for it, hence it is over stepping its bound in a hurry to exit hydrocarbon.

On the aspect of renewables, solar and wind energy, Kyari acknowledged that technology is improving but before the world can get to level of having significant storage, it will take some time especially in Africa.

He pointed out that demand and supply of energy are paramount but growth does not go at same speed. Demand can change daily but bringing new energy to catch up with it, takes a long time and couple of years.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in 2020, oil demand will surpass pre-Covid.  “But more importantly, the present growth in 2020 is that oil will increase to about 104 million barrels which is the highest that has ever been in the world and growth will increase to 2030, supply is not likely to catch up with this demand because there are no investment capital. The balancing of this is very crucial for us and it is important that all these things should be taken into consideration.”

“Energy is an essential ingredient to human existence and energy growth will impact economic development and this determines prosperity. Arguably, we can never achieve prosperity without energy security and availability.”

Kyari enjoined policy makers to put in context the nexus that brings energy, people and prosperity together in determining the sustainability of energy deployed.

“If people do not get enough energy, they cannot prosper. If prosperity is what we all stand for sustainability index then there is need for us to put this nexus together and see how best we can bring together much more sustainable energy.”

For sustainable energy to be attained, Kyari was of the view that there must be decarbonisation for clean energy and it will come from low carbon emission. There is need to attain net carbon zero emission by 2050.

Policy of decentralization of energy has to be considered because what works in Nigeria may not be applicable in other parts of Africa. Energy policy works for different climes. This is why decentralization of energy is based on how it works for various countries. Every country in a road to cleaner energy has different approach. “If I decide to use fire wood to cook and moving to kerosene is an achievement and progress. Also, moving from kerosene to LPG is an additional progress.”  Decentralization shows the direction of every country in terms of energy.

Digitilisation of the oil and gas industry paves way for technology in the energy world. Hence the combination of decarbonisation, decentralization and digitilisation will enhance the energy industry as it marches forward for a sustainable future.

Kyari called stakeholders attention that all aspects of the world have been electrified with the internet of things and the energy industry is not left behind in this innovation. Electric cars will definitely electrified the world soon which is a reality. Although, electrification will be challenged by scarcity of metals and the world is not ready to exit fossil fuel.

Solar and wind energy are good with excellence performance without noise and zero emission, but certainly, it is still a challenge across the globe with scarcity.      

The GMD made it clear that Nigeria is rich in oil and gas and the country has a decent balance with abundance of natural gas. The natural gas is its destination point. The country has declared a decade of gas working with the industry to ensure optimal production and 64% of Nigeria’s revenue if from oil and gas.

However, the country cannot abandon its rich natural resources, therefore, the energy mix should be diversified to attain reasonable level of energy prosperity.

“We should make use of what we have today, produce it in a responsible way, generate revenue and exploit our resources.”

On his part, Bala Wunti, GGM of NAPIMS, who gave the keynote address said, stakeholders in the industry are also keying to the country’s energy policy by 2050. The first point of call is to reduce emission, replace dirty energy with cleaner source to obtain carbon credit.

For NAPIMS, what is critical is to bring a change and to ensure the cost of doing business in the industry is reduced. This will be done by reducing operating cost with a target of 10,000 per barrel into the energy transition.

NAPIMS is building capacity for stakeholders and engaging in training in the oil industry making significant progress for the energy sector.

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