By Grace Udofia
ABUJA—The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday, called for increased investment in renewable energy, saying the country required 50,000 Megawatts of electricity to drive economic development.
Speaking at a seminar organised by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, in conjunction with the management of Cranfield University, London, Kachikwu maintained that the country’s economic development would have reached a giant stride, if about 20,000 Mega Watts of electricity was generated from renewable energy sources.
Kachikwu, who was represented by Director of Gas, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Alhaji Yahaya Kurfi, lamented the fact that the country had not been able to make any local contribution to the Ethanol blending project, which was aimed at reducing energy emission from fossils fuel.
He said: “Renewable sources of energy will amount to Nigeria generating about 20,000 Mega Watts of electricity”, adding that with this; the country’s economic landscape will change drastically placing her as a leading economy in the world.
He emphasised the need for capacity building to enable Nigerians identify, explore and manage the renewable options as nature had blessed the country with varieties of resources.
“It is expected that in the future, PTDF scholars will undertake programmes in Universities that to ensure the rapid growth of rentable energy,” he said.
He e explained that if the country chose low carbon investments, it could generate strong, high quality growth, not just in the future but also now, noting that on the contrary, climate change would bring severe risks to long-term prosperity if the country continued to engage in high carbon route.
Also speaking, Acting Executive Secretary, PTDF, Ahmed Galadima Aminu, stated that more should be done towards the effective long-term development of renewable technologies.
He noted that awareness and information should not be ignored in order to emphasise the advantages of operating renewable energy resources.
Ahmed said PTDF was planning to train about 50 scholars in MSc and PhD levels in renewable energy in various universities outside Nigeria to help impact the knowledge in the country upon their return.
Also speaking, Mr Feargal Brennan from Cranfield University, stated that Nigeria should not be dependent on only one source of energy but also diversify to achieve maximum result.
He noted that Nigeria had a good hydrocarbon potential which should be explored because there was a lot to be done to assist in case of shock in other sectors.