The Federal Government has warned African nation’s against being forced to toe a line of energy transition but to define its own path and draw up plans for its transition agenda.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Gabriel Aduda, stated this on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Africa Energy Delegation forum organised in Houston, Texas.
He maintained that fossil fuels will still be relevant for decades to come and that Africa can only commit to cleaner processes of extraction and production.
‘‘We must also be careful not to create a new problem while trying to solve another because in pursuing renewable energy agenda, it would mean a hike in mining activities for aluminum, cobalt, lithium and nickel among others.
We must ensure cleaner ways in mining for the minerals that would create the equipment for renewable energy which include; solar panels and wind turbines,’’.
He said that energy companies operating on the African continent face a unique set of challenges in the wake of the ongoing transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy system.
According to him, these challenges include meeting growing energy demand, reducing the carbon footprint of their operations and adapting to the effect of climate change.
“To address these challenges, energy companies are developing resilience and sustainability policies that aim to ensure the long-term viability of their operations. While minimising their impact on the environment these policies typically focuses on several key areas,” he said.
Aduda said that energy companies are increasingly investing in renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and hydro power, which help to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and lower their carbon footprint.
The Permanent Secretary said that many companies were also exploring new technologies such as energy storage and smart grids to optimise the use of renewable energy.
“Energy companies are implementing energy efficiency measures in their operations to reduce their energy consumption and lower their costs.
This includes measures such as; upgrading equipment, improving insulation, and implementing energy management systems.
Energy companies are implementing environmental management systems to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment.
“This includes measures such as waste management, emissions reduction, and biodiversity conservation,” Aduda explained.
He said that energy companies were increasingly recognising the importance of social responsibility in their operations.
He said that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) in Nigeria is strong on protecting the environment and partnering with the host communities for sustainability.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources boss said that the PIA provides clear requirements for working closely with the communities and inclusion in the operations of oil companies.
According to him, energy companies are developing resilience plans to ensure the continuity of their operations in the face of natural disasters and other disruptions.
“This includes measures such as backup power systems, emergency response plans, supply chain diversification and efficiency.
In addition to these specific policies, energy companies are also working to build partnerships with other stakeholders, including governments, NGOs and local communities,” he added
Aduda said that to address the unique challenges of the African energy market, the collaborative approach was essential to building a more sustainable and resilient energy system that could support economic growth and development in the region.