Oil and Gas are the major fuels that power the global industrial drive. As a result of a lack of focus on the implications
of the indiscriminate use of these fuels our planet has suffered grave adversity consequently. The bi-products of oil and
gas are emissions that deplete the protective ozone layer.
Global Warming: This layer is a divine protection that limits the
heat retention on planet earth and consequently the temperature of the planet. With its depletion the normal temperatures
of the earth are now higher than ever before. The result is that critical temperatures that prevent the melting of the Arctic
and Antarctic snow are now exceeded. Thus large slabs and chunks of ice are melted in these regions bringing about the swelling
of ocean beds with its resultant rise in global sea level. Unprecedented floods are now recorded as a consequence of this.
Global climatic changes are now experienced.
Fuels: The search for alternative fuels and energy sources has become imperative
if mankind is to save his planet from an impending doom. A lot of research efforts have been initiated in this regard with
a view to developing acceptable alternatives to fossil fuels that will not result in dangerous, unacceptable emissions as
bi-product. Solar energy, wind energy, geo-thermal, hydro-electric energy and bio-gas are but some examples of the alternative
energy sources being proposed.
Research Results: Quite a few rewarding results have been obtained from the global alternative energy research efforts,
each of which comes with its limitations. Wind energy is a cost effective energy option that is steadily marching towards
matching grid power in unit energy cost. Its limitation however is that it is only available in areas where the wind resources
are available. Hydro-electricity also can only be obtained in places where the topology allows for sufficient drop in gradient
of water flow to allow for a cost effective harvest of the resultant potential energy difference. Solar energy research efforts
look promising as the most reliable major global energy source. It appears to be the natural choice as the earth is daily
bombarded with this energy source on an unfailing daily basis. It was possible to initially convert only fifteen percent of
the energy that strikes the surface of the panel to usable electricity. The CPV, Concentrated Photovoltaic and CSP, Concentrated
Solar Power, technologies have greatly improved the energy harvest of the solar energy technology. These operate by using
powerful lenses to focus the sun rays on special solar panels. The energy harvest instantly increases, albeit accompanied
by an astronomical rise in the panel surface temperature. However, more recent experiments, using the nanowire technology
in CPV have demonstrated that more than eighty five percent of the solar energy striking the panel surface is harvestable
as usable electricity. By using a similar technique which they used in cooling micro-processors in computers, IBM was able
to demonstrate the ability to perfectly check the overheating problem, thereby rendering the nanowire solar technology a successful
Automobile Alternative Energy
Options: Various alternative energy options have been proposed and even
successfully demonstrated for powering the automobile, which is a major consumer of fossil fuel. Electric cars have been built
and tested but they have the limitation that after about 200 kilometers their batteries will need to be recharged for about
6 hours. Hybrid cars have been built to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel. These run on engines that can be powered by
the use of both fossil fuel and DC electricity. Therefore they are still movable using fossil fuel when the batteries are
discharged and in need of recharging.
There is now an available technology that allows one to run his automobile using regular tap water. The technology involves
the use of the energy liberated when the water molecule H2O is broken down into HHO.
Renewable Energy as a Threat to
the Nigerian Economy: With the amount of research efforts being put in
the field of alternative energy it is only a matter of time before permanent solutions are found to the global energy problems.
The global need to find acceptable alternative energy sources is urgent as industry experts predict prices of up to $500 per
barrel within a few years. These research efforts and the rewarding results give oil-producing countries like ours notice
to find alternative economic earning sources to oil. Nigeria is a special case since there is no other meaningful revenue
earner for our economy than oil and gas. Oil and gas are responsible for more than 80% of our national earnings. Therefore
unless we diversify our economy very urgently we may soon find ourselves in positions where our economy will run the risk
Urgent Call: The call is both immediate and urgent. Something should be done now. With all the writings on the
wall it is pathetic to note that the managers of the Nigerian economy appear unaware of the impending danger. Otherwise, how
can one explain the sharing of the excess crude revenue to state and local governments who do not have confirmed programs
that are designed to buffer the imminent crash that is bound to come when the developed countries cease to have need for our
oil? Like the biblical example of Egypt we ought to store up our national resources during this period of plenty knowing that
the days of scarcity loom ahead!
Recommendations: This is the time to implement the plans for a diversified economy. Our power supply system should
be urgently remedied as a matter of national emergency and all the bottlenecks that prevented massive industrialization should
be removed. It should be mandatory that 30% of the excess profits that are being annually declared by the banks be loaned
to industrial ventures. VAT and other tax exemptions should be given as incentives for the importation of industrial plants.
The attitude of government at the executive, legislative and judicial arms should be visibly friendly to both local and foreign
If these are implemented there is no reason why
we will not become another China in this generation. After all we can boast of cheaper local labor than them. Our youths are
teaming with a desire to have some form of employment.
suggestion is an appeal to those who have starched money abroad to repatriate these for industrial development. This appeal
can come as incentives for industrialization efforts.
the six geo-political zones of Nigeria can engage themselves in a healthy competition for which will make the best contribution
towards economic development. A more realistic and radical revenue sharing formula may also help to ginger governments towards
self development. Unviable states or local governments may have to be absorbed by viable ones as there will no longer be any
oil money to share. It should all be a matter of survival.
Conclusion: Whatever has to be done should be done now since the
world has already given notice by the development of alternative energy sources, that its need of oil and gas will soon be
so negligible that oil prices will crash to near zero.
REV. UKAEGBU OGWO
MD/CE, Solartime Electric Ltd.
Abuja: #2 Hombori Street, Wuse 11, Abuja
1 Road 1, Federal Housing Estate, Ogbor-Hill,
P. O. Box 4674
Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.
Tel.: 082-480 165
Mobile: 0803 323 4516
E-mail: email@example.com; Website: www.solartimeelectric.net