Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to develop green hydrogen as another energy source in light of the global clamor for energy transition.
He made this call during the launch of a book titled “Understanding Natural Gas: A Nigerian Perspective,” in Abuja. The Vice President also emphasized that transitioning too quickly from fossil fuels would lead to long-term job losses for Nigeria.
Co-authored by Dr. David Ige and Mr. Dapo Akinosun, the book was launched to address the need for Nigerians to understand the importance of natural gas as a clean and environmentally friendly source of energy. During his speech, the Vice President pointed out that no country has yet been able to develop its industry solely on renewable energy, and therefore, advocates of net zero must take into account the fact that Nigeria is a gas-rich country that requires gas not only for industry but also to effectively use solar power, especially on the grid.
The Vice President warned that a hasty transition to renewable energy would result in job losses in the oil and gas industry in the long run, and thus, Nigeria has already adopted gas as its transition fuel. He urged advocates of net zero to transition in a manner that will mitigate job losses in the oil and gas industry.
While acknowledging the need to mitigate climate change, Osinbajo stressed that Nigeria must balance between energy transition and energy poverty threat. He argued that the push for phasing out fossil fuels has discouraged investment in the industry, and therefore, it is important to find a way of balancing both the existential threat of climate change and the threat of energy poverty and development.
Green hydrogen is a clean and renewable source of energy that is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. Green hydrogen technology is gaining momentum globally as countries seek to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy. Nigeria, as a gas-rich country, has the potential to become a major player in the green hydrogen industry.
However, there are challenges to developing green hydrogen technology in Nigeria. These challenges include the lack of infrastructure, expertise, and funding. In addition, the high cost of producing green hydrogen is another major challenge that needs to be addressed. These challenges notwithstanding, the Nigerian government has expressed its commitment to developing green hydrogen as another energy source, and this is a step in the right direction.
In conclusion, the call by Vice President Osinbajo for the development of green hydrogen as another energy source is a timely one, given the global clamor for energy transition. However, Nigeria must balance the need to mitigate climate change with the need for energy poverty and development. The development of green hydrogen technology in Nigeria will require significant investment in infrastructure, expertise, and funding, but it has the potential to transform Nigeria into a major player in the green hydrogen industry.