Chemical engineers seek policy to boost renewable energy
Chemical engineers have called for a new policy and strategy that would reposition Nigeria’s renewable energy sector towards solving the challenge of irregular supply, create jobs, and boost the industrilisation of the country.
National President, Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), Onochie Anyaoku, led the call at a workshop on ‘Renewable energy systems: Practical solutions and opportunities in solar, biogas and others’ organised by the energy and power sectoral group in collaboration with NSChE Lagos/Ogun Chapter.
Renewable energies are generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, hydropower, and geothermal heat.
Anyaoku, who lamented the dismal performance of Nigeria in the renewable energy sector despite abundant resources to grow, said the country can only move forward with serious participation in research, development, and commercialisation in that sector.
He said: “If we don’t get it right, we may be left behind in the renewable sector. We should try to re-strategise.
Renewable energy is an area that Nigeria cannot afford to play second fiddle and mismanage participation as it happened in the oil and gas sector. We look forward to the new participation.”
The energy specialist at Gulf of Guinea Petroleum Consulting Company limited lauded the sectoral group of the association for coming up with the workshop and charged members to be vibrant, more intellectual and move beyond seminar papers to impacting government policies and programs.
Speaking at the forum, the visiting professor at Coal City University, Enugu, Dr. Ibrahim Muritala explained that energy production and utilisation from oil and gas will continue to degrade the environment. He suggested a reduction in dependence on oil and gas energy and looking into other energy mix like biogas, solar and others.
Muritala emphasised on the need to understand energy mix, energy transition, circular economy and climate change mitigation through the use of cheap and affordable energy sources like solar and biogas technologies as well as various ways for the implementation of small-scale renewable energy schemes.
He stated that renewable energy development is the best alternative to improve the electric power sector.
He called for quick audit of alternative energy sources in various locations in Nigeria, scaling up local innovations in renewables, improve funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Industry for renewable energy projects and entrepreneurs working in that sector.
Muritala, who is an expert in energy process, and chemical engineering, also stressed that higher institutions need to review their curriculum to engineer solution-based designs and projects as well as transit to environmentally friendly energy sources.