Renewable Energy: addressing challenges and Opportunities in Nigeria

Renewable Energy: addressing challenges and Opportunities in Nigeria

49 out of 196 countries have so far submitted their climate action plan ahead of United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris. Effort to fight climate change intensifies every year while the earth also gets warmer. A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that the first six months of 2015 has been the hottest temperatures since 1880. The world is yet to give up the usage of fossil fuels and yet expecting carbon dioxide emissions to drop overnight. Fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and gradually make the earth a dangerous place to live  through extreme weather which is resulting into grave consequences around the world. From several reports on climate change, the world will soon become completely thre if the rate at which carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere is not neutralised.

Never to be forgotten, the Ethiopian famine of 1984/1985 caused by drought, more than a million people died, left over eight million others as victims and several animals reduced to skeletons. Extreme drought is also hitting Florida, U.S. at the moment. Drought is one out of many impact of climate change which people are paying for with their lives. Heat waves killed thousands people and hospitalized several in Asia this year, Pakistan and India precisely.

There is need for fossil fuels to be completely banned and provide better alternatives which will not only eliminate carbon dioxide (major contributor to climate change) emissions but also generate energy using clean technologies. Renewable energy is a better alternative over fossil fuels with zero emissions into the atmosphere; a win-win solution.

Renewable energy operates from natural sources that are constantly replenished. Some of the numerous benefits of renewable energy include; supply the earth with energy without polluting and warming it, cut energy bill, reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Renewable energy will help to solve the problem of load shedding around the world by meeting up with the growing demand for energy as it is providing largest part of energy around the world. In June 2015, renewables made up to 98% of new U.S. energy generation capacity (Climate Reality).

Of all forms of renewable energy, solar energy provides the easiest means every individual can be energy independent. According to Wales’ department of energy and climate change, for every 5MW installed solar farms are estimated to save 2,150 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Solar energy also works well during raining season and not just when the magnitude of the sun is very high.

Solar energy can either be in large scale or small scale but to begin with, rooftop solar panels are easily accessible. Though initial costs of fixing solar panels are usually high, they are cheaper than energy from the grid on the long run. Nigerians outnumbered the energy generation in the country at 4,662 megawatts. More than half of Nigeria’s population has no connection to the national grid and the rest are not supplied with constant energy and have to supplement it with generators that also operate on fossil fuels (petrol or diesel); produces noise or environmental pollution and has claims lives almost on weekly basis. Generator fumes kill three people in Bayelsa state, Nigeria (Punch, 30th July, 2015). Findings also show that fumes from generators operating on diesel are capable of causing cancer in people (International Agency for Research on Cancer).

As it is at the moment, rooftop solar panels stand as the only option everyone in Nigeria can be powered, generate electricity with zero emissions, eliminates the pollutions from generators, provide a reliable source of energy in the country to improve economic development.

Governments in its efforts to fight climate can expand rooftop solar panels and community solar to everyone in the country, beat down the price of clean energy products by giving waivers, phase out fossil fuels and diversifying the economy away from fossil fuels from which the country currently sourced lion shares of its revenues from.  A

Written by Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuff is a Construction Technologist by profession, writer and an advocate by passion, she volunteers with Slum to School Africa, a task force member of the Rabat-Conakry commitment, and a Climate Tracker for the adopt a negotiator programme who blogs on foreign policy, politics, and current affairs from her twitter handle(@saymamaa).

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About Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuff is a Construction Technologist by profession, writer and an advocate by passion, she volunteers with Slum to School Africa, a task force member of the Rabat-Conakry commitment, and a Climate Tracker for the adopt a negotiator programme who blogs on foreign policy, politics, and current affairs from her twitter handle(@saymamaa).

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