Factors militating against Nigeria’s growth in oil/gas were once again highlight at the 2018 NAE conference.
Stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas sector x-rayed what they called the Nigeria energy mix programme and identified key challenges the country is facing. They concluded that Nigeria was not prepared for the changing dynamics involved in the energy consumption occasioned by the rise in electric powered car and drive towards a more environmentally friendly alternative sources of power.
The stated that Nigeria has one of the lowest shares of access to electrification in the world and because of this it is in a low energy equity curve, even though it has shown signs of progress by climbing from 14 per cent of the population in 2010 to 50 per cent in 2014.
These observations are contained in a communiqué that was issued at the end of the 2018 pre- conference workshop held in Lagos by the Nigaria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE)
They also observed that there have been poor capacity utilisation of the existing and aging energy infrastructure which is not good for the country. The association is of the view that renewable energy is not environmentally sustainable as a thing like solar energy does consume a lot of land per energy generated while hydro electric power could result in population displacement.
There are some limitations to some type of renewable, such wind which is not an effective source renewable energy in west Africa because it is seasonal.
The association advocated the need for an urgent assessment of what impact the renewable and environmentally sustainable energy sources will have on the regional development outlook more also as the challenge of climate change and population explosion are already with us in Nigeria and the surrounding countries. Acquisition of sites, access technology, foreign exchange and policy volatility are some of the challenges with renewable energy.
However in spite of these challenges the stakeholders have recommended some steps that must be taken to make her achieve robust energy mix.
They recommended that gas remains the main thrust of driving Nigeria energy mix due largely because of it multipurpose usage and cleanliness.
To achieve this, they said the country needs to make conscious efforts at gas exploration and reserve build up. According to them, Nigeria needs to fully realise the market value of its gas reserve both for domestic usage and for export. “Develop a new transmission and distribution networks while improvement on the existing infrastructure needs to continue into the future as priority agenda”.
The country, they said, can take advantage of the fast turnaround time in developing renewable energy compared to field development of major oil fields to boost investment in renewable energy. This is because the competitive advantage oil and gas use to have when compared to renewable energy has been significantly reduced.
Solar mini grids the association they noted are opportunities for investments and improving access to power by a lot of Nigerians.