Don advocates expansion of Nigeria’s energy mix
A professor in the Department of Engineering, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Christopher Ahiakwo, has adopted a proper energy mix that would improve electric power accessibility, create job opportunities, accelerate economic development and reduce reliance on importation.
Ahiakwo spoke at the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE) 10th Fellowship Conferment Ceremony, held in Abuja.
The university don, who stressed that Nigeria has huge potential in various energy resources, recommended that Nigeria incorporate coal and renewables like solar, wind, small hydro and biomass into the power generation mix.
He said investors should be encouraged to develop hydro, solar, wind and biomass while states with oil and gas should also be encouraged to develop small thermal plants and fields to the national grid.
According to him, solar panels should be included in building approvals in urban areas. He proposed an energy mix of 20 per cent renewable (solar, wind, biomass and small hydro) and 80 per cent non-renewables (mainly fossil and large hydro-power) to increase electricity accessibility from 75 per cent to 90 per cent by 2030.
“This development, if attained, will foster economic growth, improve social and commercial activities,” he stated.
Ahiakwo said the economic growth of a nation depends on the country’s access to adequate supply and consumption of energy, stressing that Nigeria is endowed with abundant natural resources that constitute primary sources of energy.
In his paper, the university scholar said the importance of energy includes stimulating economic growth and improving the standard of living.
He said energy availability and consumption increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of any economy, adding that it increases industrial, commercial and social activities of a nation, while its absence reduces economic growth.
“This eventually leads to lack of infrastructural development/decay. Most poor countries either have restricted access to energy or lack proper management of their energy resources,” he added.