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Transition to clean energy in Nigeria

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By Mercy Kelani

Nigeria will spend $410 billion to attain a clean energy transition.

There is an urgent need for countries worldwide to address global warming by diverting concentration from fossil-based energy production to more cleaner sources. The increase in wildfires, flooding, drought and heatwaves are evidence that there is a climate crisis and countries are taking necessary precautions. Nigeria is not left behind in this initiative while it still reels from its worst flooding experienced last year. The Nigerian ex-president, Muhammadu Buhari-led administration built the energy transition plan, “an ambitious roadmap to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060”, this was to address the climate crisis.

The former vice president and chair of the transition working group, Yemi Osinbajo, said that the initiative was designed to address climate change, and deliver clean and affordable energy (SDG7) by 2030 and net zero by 2060. On the better side, the initiative seems brilliant, however, there are various factors that doubt the effectiveness of the roadmap. Financial commitment is the most apparent one. Nigeria would need to allocate and spend $410 billion more than business-as-usual expenses which will amount to $10 billion in a year to attain a refined energy transition.

It will cost $2.8trn between 2020 and 2030 to execute Africa’s NDC.

According to a report, 51 African countries out of the 53 that submitted their initiatives on climate action, majorly known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), have supplied data on the costs of executing their NDC. Generally, they represent over 93 percent of Africa’s GDP. Statistically, it will cost about $2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to execute Africa’s NDC, based on this data. $264 billion, which is about 10 percent of the cost, have been committed by African governments from domestic public resources, while $2.5 trillion must be committed by International and domestic sectors and international public sources.

However, there is a challenge. Wealthy countries vowed to multiply funding at the Glasgow climate pact in 2021 for second-world countries up to $40 billion (£29.8 billion) yearly by 2025 to help them adapt to climate change effectively and reduce their emissions. But the promise was never fulfilled till date. Tackling issues like ensuring easy access to education, healthcare to vulnerable children, job creations, and taming surging inflation are seen as secondary obstacles, but are also problems that exist deeply in Nigeria.

Batteries are most likely to establish a strain on the supply of mineral.

Barriers like lack of political will, restrictive economic policies, financing and poor public awareness are few of the roadblocks to achieving a seamless change to clean energy. Experts have offered solutions on how Nigeria can efficiently navigate to cleaner sources of power in a bid to ensure the growth of economic returns in the country, which is more batteries + more minerals = cleaner future. Batteries are most likely to establish a strain on the supply of mineral among all clean energy technologies initiated to expand in the coming decades. In a broader sense, it is concerned with the expected rise in solar-powered products and battery-powered electric vehicles.

Based on the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the data given indicated that the manufacturing capacities in Nigeria in comparison to its African counterparts, and against the world are considered weak and worse. Nigeria is ranked as 97th in the Competitive Industrial Performance (CIP) and accounted to also have 0.00 share of the manufacturing exports in the worlds in UNIDO 2021 current data. The head of UNIDO investment and technology promotion office in Nigeria, Abimbola Wycliffe, said that if renewables have to be included in power sources in Nigeria, then an increase in manufacturing capacity must be set up.

Natural gas is continually used because it is cost-effective.

He added that lack of focus on internal consumption would be another repeated mistake with exporting crude oil. Natural gas is continually used because it is cost-effective, a cleaner alternative to coal and readily available resource, and it does not release carbon dioxide like methane when it is exposed to the atmosphere which adds to climate change as hydrogen does not produce carbon dioxide. The energy transition establishes the necessity for small scale and large-scale to have an energy mix to begin the vision for more integration and industrialization, to promote the incorporation of clean innovation which is everyone’s responsibility. The general manager of crude oil & gas commercial, TotalEnergies Nigeria, Dabotekenari Alabo stated that testing nature-based solutions and clean technology is the Nigerian context solution.

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