The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timiprye Sylva said natural gas remains the only viable option currently on the table as the race to the adoption of energy transition gathers momentum.
According to The Independent, Sylva who stated this at the Nigeria-Africa Natural Resource and Energy Summit, held in Abuja added that Nigeria cannot ignore vast proven gas endowments and potential reserves, in the face of energy poverty.
He emphasized the need for Africa to stand together to weather the climate change storm while avoiding losing all recent gains in the quest to pull her vast population out of energy poverty, and hence economic poverty.
He said that natural gas is widely seen as a low carbon-emitting energy source that could play a major role in the energy transition quest.
“In particular, Natural gas is widely seen as a low carbon-emitting energy source that could play a major role in the energy transition quest. Natural gas is known to emit 30% less CO2 compared to oil, and almost 70% less compared to coal, for an equivalent amount of energy supply. It is well-positioned to become the dominant fuel for generating power worldwide. It is worth noting that the European Commission is making a move to classify Nuclear and Natural Gas energy sources as ‘green’
“Nigeria has already made a strong commitment to embracing energy transition, pledging to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This is in addition to the commitment Nigeria made through His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, at COP 26 in 2021 to attain carbon net-zero by 2060.
“Nigeria is following a transition pathway that combines technology, investment, business strategies, and government policy that will enable Nigeria to transit from its current energy system to a low-carbon energy system with natural gas playing a pivotal role.
“Nigeria needs affordable, reliable and sustainable energy resources to eradicate the prevalent energy poverty in the shortest time possible, and propel economic growth. The only viable option currently on the table is natural gas, considering our vast proven gas endowments, put at 209 tcf, with 600 tcf potential reserves. We cannot ignore this resource, especially when energy poverty is viciously staring at us” he said.
Sylva stated that as of today, energy poverty is still much prevalent in the world, especially in Africa where millions of people still do not have access to electricity or clean cooking fuels.
He said that based on the UN data, about 760 million people lack access to electricity worldwide, with 3 out of 4 of them living in sub-Saharan Africa, adding that one-third of the world’s population – about 2.6 billion people – have no access to clean cooking fuels, with over 900 million of these in sub-Saharan Africa.
He noted that on average, only 48% of the sub-Saharan African population has access to electricity, while only 18% have access to clean cooking fuels, compared with a global average of 90% and 70%, respectively.
He added: ”In relation to CO2 emission, World Bank statistics show that the world average of CO2 emissions was 4.48 metric tons per capita in 2018, with some regions and individual countries recording five to seven times this value. Emission by sub-Saharan Africa in total was only 0.76 metric tons per capita”