Varsity Don Advocates Investment In Solar Energy For Sustainable Development – Nigerian Observer

A power generation shift from the conventional hydro energy to renewable energy- solar generated power has been recommended for Nigeria’s needed economic, industrial growth and development.

Engineer Prof. Ma-Riekpen Edekin Evbogbai gave this recommendation while delivering the 2nd inaugural lecture series of the Edo State University, Uzairue entitled, “Light, Man and Development: Photovoltaic Power Generation for Sustainable Development” at the Aliko Dangote auditorium of the Institution

According to him, renewable energy such as solar power is inexhaustible, replenishable and environmental friendly. In addition, it can be converted to electrical energy and available for all and sundry unlike the hydro energy which requires a swift flowing river and hydro carbon based energy resources which are site specific.

Prof. Evbogbai explained that Photovoltaic power generation which involves the direct conversion of light energy from the sun into electrical energy is the most viable solution to resolve the electrical energy crises in Nigeria because it is renewable, clean, cheap and environmental friendly.

He said to ensure industrial and economic development, there is need to improve electricity generation and distribution across the country as approximately a meagre 5, 000 MW is currently available for transmission to final consumers.

This improvement, he added can be achieved by incorporating Photovoltaic Power generation in the nation’s electricity energy mix.

“Access to electricity is one of the major constraints to the private sectors of Nigerian economy, for this reason, some indigenous and foreign companies are relocating to African countries such as Ghana, South Africa”.

According to him, new investors prefer to establish their companies and businesses in countries having adequate, stable and reliable electricity.

“The high percentage lack of access to electricity makes Nigeria the country with the largest energy deficit in the world.” The varsity don stressed.

To address this anomaly, he explained that government needs to take advantage of photovoltaic power generation to improve electricity supply for the creation of new market, businesses and jobs openings which provides more opportunities for individuals to earn income and lift themselves, families and community out of poverty.

Professor Evbogbai suggested that, “Solar energy can be put in practical use, such as rural electrification of small and isolated communities, water pumping, storage of drugs and vaccines in health clinics, powering remote transmitters in telecommunication and railways signalling, protection of oil pipelines, storage tank, television viewing and street lighting”.

He therefore recommended that high tech solar panel production factories should be established and the existing ones be properly equipped and funded to meet the demand for solar panels in Nigeria.

Other recommendations made by the erudite professor of electrical and electronics include: encouragement of developmental result oriented research through adequate funding and organisational bureaucracy in accessing research grants should be minimized, adequate and regular monitoring of developmental projects and research sponsored by government or non-government agencies should be carried out to curb sharp practices in the process of disgusting and utilization of the funds for specified project.

He added that, collaborative efforts between indigenous and high-tech foreign processing industries should be encouraged through regularly organised seminars, workshops and conferences for cross fertilization of ideas and product exhibition, appraisal of the existing Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) Centres in the six geo-political zones should be done periodically to continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of these centres in terms of quality research output, standardization and demonstration to ensure success story of a fast growing and dynamic Photovoltaic industry as well as creation of of enabling environment for the commercialization of the Photovoltaic Power generation.

He called on the government through its agencies to support the development of the Photovoltaic sector in policy measure, implementation and also in its research and demonstration activities.

This he said, will make the sector more productive and competitive, thereby accelerating its evolution for sustainable development.

Earlier in his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Engr. Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor described Engr. Prof. Ma-Riekpen Evbogbai as an erudite scholar and highly travelled man who has contributed immensely to knowledge through research.

While describing the lecture as appropriate at this time, he said Edo State University, Uzairue has demonstrated the capacity to be an emerging world class university in Nigeria and the African continent through its digitization of her modus operandi in executing core mandate.

He said that the university has been admitted into the Association of African Universities (AAU) and also admitted into the Consortium of New Sub-Saharan Medical Schools (CONSAMS) while all programmes offered in the university are approved by the relevant regulatory bodies.

The Vice Chancellor however stated that in keeping with the university’s mandates, the university would be graduating her first set of post graduate students by November, 2021.

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