Mele Kyari, the Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, has expressed concerns about countries with limited economic resources achieving easy adoption of clean energy.
He said the cost of renewable energy is not budget-friendly and could delay efforts by Nigeria and other countries in Africa with limited economic resources from making progress.
Speaking at the 41st Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists’ (NAPE) international conference and exhibition, Kyari, represented by the Executive Vice president (EVP), Upstream NNPCL, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, observed that a huge energy space that is clean but not affordable cannot be sustainable considering Nigeria’s energy poverty.
The conference is themed: “Repositioning the oil and gas industry for future energy dynamics”.
Leadership reports that the senior officer of Nigeria’s state-owned oil firm noted that if proactive policies and practical efforts are not adopted it would impede the adoption of clean energy in Nigeria.
“Cost is therefore another limitation of renewable energy and the financial barrier, saying that if not addressed, it would impede the adoption of clean energy, especially in this part of the world with very limited economic resources.”
Acknowledging the role of renewables in mitigating the adverse effect of climate change and reducing dependency on finite resources, Kyari added that, the technologies of renewables are still struggling with many limitations that are yet to be addressed, listing some of the challenges to include intermittency, reliability and predictability due to geological constraints and limited control of man and nature.
“While battery storage technology has addressed some of the intermittency challenges of renewable energy, the storage technology itself has challenges.”
He stated that the petroleum industry, which has fuelled the progress of mankind for over a century, is also confronted with its own inherent challenges and constraints associated with its continued production and usage.
He noted that fossil fuel continues to be a finite resource of energy. which means that the world’s reliance on it is unsustainable, bemoaning that the process of extraction and consumption of fossil fuels continue to leave a significant adverse carbon footprint on the environment especially if not done responsibly.
“As explorationists, we play a vital role in shaping the future of the oil industry. It is through your dedication, expertise and relentless pursuit of knowledge that will continue to unlock new frontiers, discover reserves and push the boundaries of what is technologically and economically feasible,” he averred.
He expressed concerns that the struggles for control over oil reserves continue to drive conflicts and geopolitical tensions putting global stability at risk, predicting that the world’s energy needs would continue to increase, saying that not one energy source alone can meet all the energy demands of mankind.
Kyari also projected that the priorities of customers would also continue to vary depending on energy requirements geographically, technology, purchasing power, pricing systems, government policies and various other dynamics.
“The future will belong to companies that recognise this reality and position themselves to develop a balanced complementary energy portfolio that leverages innovation and technology to harness the strength of various energy sources and tailor them to meet the requirements of an ever-changing demand,” he stressed.
He added that innovation and emerging technologies would drive unprecedented advancement in the energy sector from digitisation and artificial intelligence to robotics, data analytics, noting that these technologies are reshaping how the world explores, produces and manages its resources.
“Effective portfolio management will always be essential in navigating the complexities of the evolving energy landscape. We must be challenged in adapting our portfolio to realign with market trends, regulatory changes and evolving customer preferences.”
Managing director, SNEPCO, Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said Nigeria, as a country, is vulnerable because of its dependency on fossil fuel for economic growth and low oil resource resilience. She said 50 per cent of projected oil production is at risk in the event of Nigeria’s rapidly growing demography.
“With our population projected to double by 2050, it means that we are going to be creating more demand for the already lean resources we have if we do not do something about it,” she warned.
She stated that Nigeria has a huge energy gap despite its huge reserves, urging the urgent need to close the gap.
Aiboni added that renewables play a key role for Nigeria to meet its carbon neutrality target by 2060, adding the need to embrace technology in the nation’s quest for oil and gas exploration.