Renewable Energy: Battle for future generations

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Renewable Energy: Battle for future generations
Nkechi Isaac,writer for Leadership magazine Nigerian.

While developed nations are turning away from fossil fuels, developing nations still rely heavily on coal, oil, and natural gas for its energy. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve.

Also read:Renewable energy: The world needs a big change

It is our responsibility to conserve energy and save the environment for the generations yet unborn. Energy needs to be conserved to protect our environment from drastic changes, to save the depleting resources for our future generations. The rate at which energy is being produced and consumed can damage our world in many ways.

In contrast, the many types of renewable energy resources-such as wind and solar energy-are constantly replenished and will never run out. They are available in plenty and by far most the cleanest sources of energy available on this planet.

For example energy that we receive from the sun can be used to generate electricity. Similarly, energy from wind, geothermal, biomass from plants, tides can be used to fulfill our daily energy demands.

 Briefing journalists at a world press conference on some of the decisions reached by ministers of science and technology from more than 100 member-countries of the International Renewable Agency (IRENA), at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), in Abuja, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed that more than 100 countries including Nigeria, spent $300 billion on renewable energy because of the need to preserve the environment for future generations yet unborn.

 

He said it was agreed that countries should move away from using fossil fuel because of its negative impact on the environment and climate.

Onu said the production of carbon dioxide through fossil fuel is known to be responsible for climate change, adding there was need to preserve the environment and hand over the planet to future generations so that the planet would be habitable for them.

“For the first time since 2016, the world spent $300 billion in promoting renewable energy and so many countries are increasing the percentage contribution of renewable to their energy mix.

“This platform is being supported and encouraged by rich countries in crude oil and they are doing this for economic reasons because it is important to make sure that you diversify your own source of energy.

“If in the future, solar energy is competitive through utilization of science and technology in research and innovation and if you don’t play a role it means you may regret in future,” he said.

The minister said Nigeria was elected as one of the 4 vice presidents to set agenda for its 8th meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in January 2018.

He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to promote renewable energy, saying government through National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) was diversifying its energy mix through production of solar panels at Karshi in FCT which, according to him, are highly being patronized by Nigerians.

He further said the ministry had advanced in the generation of two megawatts of electricity from the Dutsima River in Katsina and Osun states.

According to him, the Energy Commission, through the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, has attained about 80 percent completion on an experimental project on solar energy production in different parts of country.

He said: “Though, we have not had the level of support that the ministry deserves in pushing the level of research and innovation at the level that we want but since I came in here, we have had a remarkable improvement even though it is yet not enough. We believe that we will get there. The infrastructure is on for the solar energy.

“We also have wind energy that is being utilized and it is almost 80 percent complete in Katsina State, but at the experimental of pilot level at the Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto. The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) is also working there. We are not doing any work on ocean energy but in future we will because of our long coastlines.

“It is important that Nigeria develops her renewable energy sources like the bio-energy. NABDA is working on bio-energy and I will be in Calabar to flag off the waste to wealth project using waste to produce energy and thus will be replicated in the other 5 geopolitical zones.”

“The duty of the ministry is to conduct research and innovation and then allow the private sector to take over and commercialize it. We will encourage the private sector to do the commercialization.”

Highlighting his mission to Ethiopia, the minister said the need to eradicate trypanosomiasis from the country necessitated his visit, where the tsetse fly facility for the production of the male sterile tsetse is being deployed for the eradication of the disease.

He, however, said the trypanosomiasis institute in Kaduna, established in 1945 has helped in reducing tsetse flies and eradicating the disease from 3 local government areas in Oyo State.

“Researchers in the institute have done a lot of work and most recent was the work in Oyo State, as they have helped in eradicating trypanosomiasis from 3 local government areas out of 9 in the state, where there were wild tsetse flies and rendered the places free through developing the technology to do so.

“Here, the cattlemen will be well catered for for milk production. Therefore controlling tsetse fly is important for the country because of food security challenge,” he stated.

While calling on Nigerians to embrace science and technology as the pathway for the country’s development, he said provision had been made in the 2017 for the establishment of science and technology television to encourage young Nigerians cultivate interest in science.

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