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Renewable Energy: A Nigerian Perspective

By Engr. Umar Bello Ahmad

In recent years, renewable energy has gained increased attention as a potential solution to the challenges posed by climate change and an ever-increasing demand for electricity. Renewable energy is derived from natural resources that replenish themselves over time and do not produce harmful greenhouse gas emissions or pollutants. This makes it a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to traditional sources of energy such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Renewable energy includes sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectricity, and biomass. Renewable energy is not only an environmentally conscious option, but it also has significant economic benefits. Investment in renewable energy can lead to job creation, boost economic growth and improve energy security.

Furthermore, renewable energy has the potential to reduce dependence on foreign oil and gas sources, which can be volatile in price and availability. Despite the many benefits of renewable energy, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome in order for it to become a more widely used source of energy. One major challenge is the intermittency of some renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. These sources are dependent on weather conditions and may not always be available when needed, which creates challenges for grid operators who must balance energy supply and demand.

Another challenge to wider adoption of renewable energy is initial cost. Investment in renewable energy infrastructure can be costly upfront, which may deter some from making the switch to renewable sources. Despite these challenges, significant progress has been made in the development of renewable energy technology. For instance, solar and wind power are becoming more efficient and affordable, thanks to ongoing innovation in the field.

As the world looks towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy alternatives, Nigeria stands at a crossroad amidst facing increasing energy demand. It is imperative that Nigeria embraces renewable energy as an alternative source of energy for continued economic growth and uninterrupted power supply. This transition will not only reduce dependence on expensive and volatile fossil-fuels, but also create new job opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

Nigeria’s abundant natural resources, including solar power, wind energy, hydroelectricity and biomass make it highly suitable for the implementation of renewable energy projects, which have the potential to provide significant economic and social benefits while addressing environmental challenges.

In addition, the shift towards renewable energy sources in Nigeria would have positive implications for global efforts to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions. It is essential that Nigeria takes concrete steps towards reducing its carbon footprint and meeting its obligations under international climate agreements, such as the Paris Agreement. Investing in and expanding renewable energy infrastructure will not only align Nigeria’s development goals with global environmental objectives but also reinforce its position as a leader in African renewable energy and sustainable development. In light of these benefits, it is incumbent upon the Nigerian government and private sector to make a concerted effort towards investing in and expanding renewable energy infrastructure. A comprehensive strategy that involves increasing public awareness and education on renewable energy, offering incentives to encourage private investment in the sector, leveraging international partnerships for technological support.

This article is the first in a series of articles that I would publish in order to assess critically the Nigeria renewable energy framework. In my next article, I will try to highlight the main points of the renewable energy policy of Nigeria and give a critical assessment of their applicability in the Nigerian context.

Engr. Umar Bello Ahmad is a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Kano

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