The vision of an industrialised African continent, built on rapid Economic growth and sustainable development, inched a little closer, with the successful hosting of the NEF 2021 e-conference which held virtually on the 5TH OF August 2021; with the theme “powering a sustainable industrial revolution”.
The conference Chair, Dr. Oluwole Daniel Adeuyi noted a sustainable industrial revolution based on modern energy technologies can accelerate the pace of socio-economic recovery globally post Covid-19.
Dr. Adeuyi outlined the scope of the conference and the several benefits being made available to participants who were attending the conference; these include four world class workshops on energy and a lineup of panelists of enviable pedigree. He enjoined all stake-holders to contribute their strategic insights towards achieving sustainable industrialization, power sector recovery and the goal of a successful transition to net- zero emissions by 2050.
The conference which is the first in a series of two conferences slated for this year had panelists drawn from across the Globe, and had registered over 500 delegates billed to attend. The High level plenary session on COP 26 was co- Chaired by Adekunle Makinde and Mr Ahmed Zakari, special adviser to the president on Infrastructure.
Minister of state for power, Mr Goddy Jeddy-Agba shared the challenges facing the country in delivering energy to the 25 million Nigerians without access to Energy using Solar home systems and mini-grids.
The Minister reassured delegates of the readiness of the country to participate in forth-coming COP26 U.N. conference on Climate change. Furthermore he stated that Nigeria would seek to align its position along an energy transition that is equitable, inclusive and just. He reiterated that “a just energy transition for Nigeria will feature both clean energy technologies and natural gas, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050″.
Jedy-Agba stated that Nigeria has developed an Energy Transition Plan on pathways for achieving universal access by 2030 and net-zero targets by 2050 and noted that “figures show this would require investments of over USD 400billion in excess of business as usual spending between now and 2050, highlighting the scale of effort required”.
Other discussants include Janet Rogan, UK COP26 Regional Ambassador to Africa; Colin Dreizin, Director Economic growth and Environment of the USAID Nigeria; Wale Shonibare, Director Energy financial solutions and policy of the African Development Bank and Jean Paul Adam, Director Technology and climate change United Nations Economic Commission on Africa.
In the opening session which focused on pace setters in the energy sector, and which was moderated by Jadesola Rawa; All on partnership and policy associate the various presenters were optimistic about the prospects of a green industrial revolution across the African continent.
The panelists included Sandra Dozie, C.E.O. Salpha Energy who spoke on upscaling Affordable solar lighting Solutions, Omobola Omofaiye C.O.O. of Arnergy whose presentation on boosting Solar mini-grids was well received, Jadeed Beita of Siemens Energy UK shared a groundbreaking paper on the power to gas to power developments using CO2 free Hydrogen Gas. He also informed the gathering of the impending pilot project located in France which is expected to save 65,000tons of CO2 annually. Other speakers were Joel Igba of Vestas Wind Denmark whose topic was maximizing whole system solutions, while Ibiene Okeleke Managing Director of Energy Training Center made a presentation on upskilling Energy professionals.
The conference progressed with a review of the energy ideas competition at the Energy innovators and Assessors roundtable sponsored by All On. In a session moderated by Dr. Khadijat Jose-Adelaja three Past winners of the competition presented their journey so far. Mer Best C.E.O. Meryana Bio-Energy (2017 winner), Nnameka Ikegwonu CEO Cold Hubs (2018 winner), Brian Kazembo Founder WEYE (2019 winner). Two Assessors, Femi Olaniyan and Sele Inegbedion were invited to provide insights into what it takes to prepare a winning proposal for the Energy Ideas competition.
The NEF2021 e-conference key takeaways are linked to the significant benefits of increasing speed in closing the energy access and finance gaps across Nigeria and Africa; mobilizing domestic finance for developing enduring energy infrastructure; exploring approaches for reducing bureaucracy in energy policymaking; and developing electricity interconnections to foster regional clean energy co-operation, development and trading.
The conference closed on an optimistic note with participants enjoined to block their calendars for the second conference expected to hold on 30th November with a focus on the delivery of post-COP26 actions.
SOURCE : CITY VOICE NIGERIA