‘Africa can minimise climate change impacts with new power solutions’

The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has said new power solutions (renewable energy sources) could help African countries including Nigeria minimise the impacts of climate change on their environments.

ECN said because Africa is reported to be the most impacted of the climate change phenomenon, it had the option of choosing to embrace and make the most of renewable energy solutions to improve energy access for her people and keep their environment clean from carbon emission.

Director General of ECN, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala said at the 2016 celebration of the World Energy Day which was organised by the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics in Abuja, that Africa must find a balanced policy that will promote deployment of new power solutions.

“Africa is being called upon to take some action in combating climate change which is currently a major global challenge.

“Africa, ironically the smallest offender in terms of CO2 emissions, is predicted to be the region that will be the worst affected by global warming and climate change,” said Bala.

He further stated: “Climate change demands that we rethink the relationship between energy and development. The carbon-intensive energy systems that drive our economies have set us on a collision course with our planetary boundaries.

“We have to accept this reality and jointly with other countries avoid that collision. As a part of the global community, we have to develop the technology, finance and ingenuity to make the transition to a low-carbon future.”

Bala however said: “Africa is well placed to be part of that leadership. African nations do not have to lock into developing high-carbon old technologies; we can expand our power generation and achieve universal access to energy by leapfrogging into new technologies that are transforming energy systems across the world.”

“Africa stands to gain from developing low-carbon energy, and the world stands to gain from Africa avoiding the high-carbon pathway followed by today’s rich world and emerging markets.

“African leaders have every reason to support international efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, they urgently need more power to boost and transform their economies and to increase energy access. Their challenge is to embrace a judicious, dynamic energy mix in which renewable sources will gradually replace fossil fuels,” he added.