Energy plays the most vital role in the economic growth, progress, and development, as well as poverty eradication and security of any nation.
Hence, economic growth crucially depends on the long-term availability of energy from sources that are affordable, accessible, and environmentally friendly.
Of recent, given the reality of global warming, there has been a rise in global action calling for national energy mixes that lean away from fossil fuels towards having greater proportion of sustainable, renewable energy.
The energy mix of a country is the specific combination of energy sources which it utilises in meeting its electricity supply needs.
This was the discussion among panelists at the Energy Sustainability Conference hosted by the Energy Institute Nigeria recently.
Energy consumption patterns in the world today shows that Nigeria and indeed African countries have the lowest rates of consumption.
In contrast, Nigeria is rich in conventional energy resources, which include oil, natural gas, lignite, and coal.
It is also well endowed with renewable energy sources such as wood, solar, hydropower, and wind
Vincent Oldenbroek, Co-founder, African Hydrogen Partnership says Hydrogen could be harnessed for Energy.
“We need to look at which is the MOST cost effective, BEST available, energy SECURE and HAS THE BEST access to Finance
“All these aspects are to be evaluated for every application.
“So, I think at a point when there’s temporarily too much electricity, it would be an ideal set up to make hydrogen and store it for later use.
“We really see the synergy between electricity and hydrogen production,” he told Petrolgas Report.
Speaking further, he said with technology getting cheaper, it will be easier for countries in Africa to adopt just as it is being used in Europe.
He said, “The technology is getting cheaper.
“Everyone is aware of the large renewable energy potential in Nigeria. From Hydropower, winds along the shore to solar in the North.
“But there is also the big challenge of harnessing it and getting it to the end consumers.
“We need to look at all the aspects and then look at availability in time and demand.
“This will be the next step.
“In Nigeria, it is quite new but I believe it should be seen as Solar was 10 years ago. Once the benefits can be seen, they can adapt quickly.
“This is already being done in Europe and other countries.
“So, if Nigeria says we want this technology. Then, it can be here,” he added.
Hydrogen fuel cell generators have the ability to completely replace petrol and diesel generators.
They can be perfectly combined with solar PV systems and batteries to achieve very high reliability of electricity supply in all weather conditions.
On his part, Femi Adeyemo, CEO and Co-founder, Arnergy says the challenges in the sector are opportunities to be harnessed.
“We see those challenges as opportunities. What we advocate for is the right energy mix.
“So, instead of focusing only on centralized grid, we need to look at Distributed.
“For the Distributed, Renewable energy has to play a good part of that and we have been able to generate and consume.
“We also look at solar solutions such as Rooftop Solar at Homes and Businesses in Nigeria where they will generate and then consume,” he said.
According to him, his firm has Acquisition models that help in reducing energy poverty.
In his words, ” We have three forms of acquisition Model.
“Homes and businesses can approach us to do a Lease to Own where they don’t have to buy the System outright so that upfront CAPEX is not there.
“They can lease and own for over 36 months.
“And businesses like Education, Healthcare, Hospitality and other sectors of the economy can approach us and pay on a monthly basis, ” he added.