Renewable Energy Can Stop Nigeria’s Energy Poverty

The Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) has emphasized the importance of renewable energy in tackling Nigeria’s energy poverty. At a recent workshop on “Ethanol as a Biofuel,” MEMAN CEO Clement Isong highlighted the need for diverse energy sources like biofuels, solar, hydroelectricity, and wind to create a sustainable energy mix.

He reaffirmed MEMAN’s commitment to engaging with the press and industry stakeholders to advocate for energy solutions that meet Nigeria’s needs.

Agwu Ojowu, a senior consultant at Africa Practice, discussed the significant potential and benefits of ethanol as a renewable energy source for Nigeria. He explained that ethanol, produced from crops like sugarcane, cassava, and sorghum, can be used in various applications including fuel, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and industrial solvents.

Ojowu noted that ethanol blends are used in about 70 countries to improve fuel quality and reduce environmental impact.

Nigeria’s journey with ethanol began with the 2007 biofuels policy, which mandated a 10% ethanol blend in fuel. Despite initial challenges and policy suspension in 2008, the potential for ethanol remains significant. Ojowu mentioned that ethanol’s cost-effectiveness compared to petrol suggests economic advantages for a well-regulated biofuel market.

However, he also highlighted concerns about the potential impact on food security due to using crops for fuel production amidst high food inflation in Nigeria.