6 April 2019
Adnan Z Amin, the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), has said that countries like Nigeria, that have benefited and become reliant on fossil fuels like oil and gas, are unprepared for the move to renewable energy sources by major economies across the world.
Amin was speaking in an interview with Gitika Bhardwaj of Chatham House. He was asked how he anticipated countries, particularly those that have benefited from fossil fuel production in the past, to respond to changes to renewable energy, which most countries are able to harness and how it would affect trade. Amin replied: “One of the greatest challenges that the energy transition presents is for fossil fuel-producing countries, many of which are countries that have run their economies on these resources in the past, to adopt a new, diversified, economic model. We are beginning to see the emergence of this around the world.”
He gave the examples of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia with their energy diversification strategies, adding: “But there are other countries that are unprepared. If you think of the possibilities that a fast-moving energy transition has for the prices of fossil fuel resources, and the impact it could have on countries like Nigeria, Angola, Gabon and others that are highly dependent on these resources, then unless they have ambitious strategies of economic diversification, they could face some severe challenges in the near future.
“In terms of the geopolitics, the trade in oil and gas has been at the base of the geopolitical system we have today, but if you think of the fact that we are moving away from these resources into a much more electrified world with power movements across borders based on electricity from renewable energy, there is an enormous opportunity for fossil fuel-producing countries.
“This is because many of them are rich in renewable energy resources too so there is a chance for them to remain as energy players. However, it needs leadership and it needs vision to make it happen.”
There is little evidence that Nigeria is taking serious steps to harness the abundance of renewable energy sources from solar to hydro to waste that are available in the country.
The full interview is available here: