Redirecting focus to affordable and clean energy

Goal 7 - English“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” is the 7th of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Between 1990 and 2010, the number of people with access to electricity has increased by 1.7billion and as the population continue to rise so would the demand for cheap energy rise.

In 2007, lack of rainfall resulted in low level rivers and lakes in Alberia, severely hampering hydro power generation and resulting in frequent power outage of 3.7 hours per day and the Alberia ministry of finance estimated that this costs the country as much as one per cent of the growth.

Most of the countries that are facing the issue of clean energy are regarded as third world countries, that is, the less developed countries, small island and under-developed countries. No country should be exempted from clean energy because everyone needs energy for their daily activities and without the use of energy, activities cannot be done and industries would be at a loss.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the government agency responsible for regulating operations in the electricity sector, reported that as of 29 May 2016, energy generated was MWh 56,155 and energy sent out being MWh 47,480 as against 05 June 2016 energy generated (62,617) while 61,506 MWh was sent out. Total Constrained Generation MW as of 29 May 2016 stood at 3,958 MW which rose to 4,183 as of 05 June 2016.

The above is still a far cry from the ideal given the size of Nigeria and the strategic importance of electricity to sustainable economic development. There is need to make clean energy affordable to the majority of the population. Nigeria has the resources and the human capital to develop and deploy clean and affordable energy: The wind vane technology will thrive in the northern part of the country; and Solar technology can be deployed anywhere in the country.

Goal 7: ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’ has five targets amongst which are: By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services; By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.

Are these achievable? Yes, they are. If policy makers in the developing countries of the world redirect their focus and energies towards provision of affordable and clean energy, then achieving the targets would surely fall in place. No doubt, when Goal 7 and its targets are largely met, the economy gets galvanized, the people get profitably engaged and the well-being of the generality of the population improved.                                                                               Written by Ibukun Olumuyiwa (An intern)