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      Francis Onasanya

      Recently I read online that the deputy Senate President of Nigeria mentioned that “Nigeria” should frustrate the use of electric cars or vehicles that dont utilise fossil fuels because Nigeria is a major Oil and Gas producing Country.

      This discussion albeit from a political leader, our discussions should try to avoid unnecessary political undertones. 

      Now this is my position and opinion despite being a trained Environmental Engineer. Some Countries in the West, some business interests and some fanatical environmentalists are in so much in a haste to abandon the fossil fuels as the chief energy source and move to the green energies not fully considering the global effects of this simple actions on economies, people and technologies.

      The term green energy sounds so sweet in our ears and no one really is considering who pays for the possible deficit it will create across board.

      I am currently in Canada, and would give you some reality out of what I have observe.  I have also attended conferences in Canada recently and would share my experiences from there. I will also share my opinion of the recent Provincial elections in Alberta, Canada a week back and the last elections in the USA 2016, and how the green energies and fossil fuels was one of the major factors that determined the leaders.

      We can go on and on and shout about the green energies and this is good technology as we agree that it creates a better Earth and reduces the impact of climate change and the likes but there is no balance. There is a massive deficit lurking somewhere the Researchers, proponents and business men are avoiding to educate us about 

      My question to alll this are:

      * Who will provide the electrical energy the vehicles will use? 

      * Imagine everyone switches to electrical vehicles, who will provide the source of energy?

      * How will we store it?

      * What raw materials will be batteries be made of ?

      * How long will the batteries store energy for?

      * How will we manage the waste generated by these batteries?

      * Will the source of the raw materials for the batteries be sustainable? 

      * Will it cause some other environmental issues?

      * How do we manage the contamination already created by the exploration, processing and storage of fossil fuels? 

      Imagine we have to decommission oil rigs, fuel stations, petroleum products depots etc. Let’s think about the costs of decontamination and decommissioning of all this mentioned above.

      * How do we manage the loss of jobs?

      * How do we create the availability of new labour force to manage the new technologies?

      * Can people easily switch careers? 

      * To be able to match the new demands?

      * How will a Country like Nigeria or most African countries switch and provide energy for these vehicles when currently we can’t even provide enough energies to power our homes and offices?

      * If you buy the $5000 electric car from China, how will you power it in Lagos where you can spend more than 3hours in Lagos traffic and battery runs down

      I will also dwell a little on last week’s elections in Alberta, Canada. Alberta is the major oil and gas producing province in Canada and about 70% of the economy in Alberta depends on the industry.

      In the good days of Alberta, it provided 1000s of Billions of Dollars to the Canadian government with which Canada used to develop lots of other provinces and also saved till today. Then came some change in leadership and decisions were made regarding the “Environment”,  “Green technologies” and “Climate change”. These decisions were quickly made and some regulations put in place as Canada is one of the leading Countries in support of the Green revolution.

      Alberta was affected! It’s ratings fell from AAA to only God knows now.  Jobs were lost, companies folded, homes broken, foreign investors left, people became poorer and Alberta was left at the mercies of other provinces till now. Despite these regulations, the Prime minister Justin Trudeau powers his house and keeps his home and office warm with energy generated from fossil fuels, his car is fossil fuel powered, his official jets are powered by fossil fuels etc.

      The last elections was won by the Conservatives by a massive majority. People have tested the Democratic party and saw that effects of the swift change from fossil fuels and the adverse effects it has left of them as a people, their livelihoods, economy, jobs,  families etc. The Albertans generally agreed that they needed to go back to the oll fields again. These are the thinking of oyinbos!!!. The Conservatives gave an option to return to the oil and gas production to save their current situation which was absolutely in a mess!. People voted in a record breaking election and turn out of voters. Now they control the parliament 65 members to a meager 25 of the opposition.

      In Norway, world leaders of green technologies, their jets are still run by fossil fuels.Some factories are still run by fossil fuel. In fact they have some oil and gas producing fields that produce and sell fossil fuels to other countries there till now. They even own one of the biggest oil and gas producing company in the World. 

      Let’s put that aside, but my question is;

      * What is the energy demand of Norway?

      * What is their land size and what is the size of their population?

      Now, people, decision makers, Researchers, leaders and all stakeholders need to think really deep as it relates to fossil fuels and the alternatives we have before just jumping because it looks beautiful and attractive!

      Increase awareness, begin introducing new courses in schools and train the future labour workforce, begin to save money for decommissioning and decontamination of fossil fuel plants and storage facilities. The current global debt is 244 Trillion Dollars! 

      * Who will pay for the deficit green energies technology will create?

      * Who will pay Nigeria?

      * Who will help Nigeria to move forward with the technological changes?

      * Who will help Africa?

      * If we go green fully what will the  storage batteries be made of?

      * Where will we source them?

      * What environmental impacts would arise as a result of these?

      * What is the socio economic impacts?

      * Have people thought about them?

      * How are we going to manage manufactured  batteries made from zinc, nickel, graphite, manganese, lithium etc

      *Where do we source them from and how sustainable with increase in demand?

      * We will begin to dig the earth again and create more craters etc

      Africa will surely suffer for these if I’m not wrong. We shall end up creating another monster entirely!

      Do you know what is going on in Congo and Zamfara now? It will be child’s play compared to what may happen when we eventually go green. The truth and reality is that there will be massive sufferings and economic downturns if we give green energy 50%. For now 20% and watch how it grows naturally over 50 years just like what crude oil did over coal.

      Let’s plant more trees, introduce more carbon processing plants etc to reduce carbon emissions not give too much glory to green technologies.


      OPINION: Anyone can object to the direction the wind is blowing, but there’s nothing, absolutely nothing anybody can do about it. In about 5 years your petrol car would have a strong competition right here on the streets of Nigeria. A $5000 dollars can buy an electric car from China today. That’s less than many tokumbos cost in Nigeria.

      RESPONSE:  I 100% do not agree with this postulation even in 20 years time.

      OPINION: Fossil fuels in Nigeria is even expensive despite the fact that we produce crude oil or major exporter of crude. Recently the USA abandoned our crude oil even when they is increased in price per barrel.

      If we embrace renewable energy such as (wind, turbine, gas, biogas or solar). Am sure it will not affect our economy rather, the country will diversify on Agriculture and Agroproduct.

      Years to come we will discovered that the water table and pore are affected, if we continue mining and exploring crude oil we maybe prone to earthquakes and storms.

      We can’t control other countries to buy our crude oil once they adopted renewable energy sources, Nigeria will become a dumping ground for scrap and tokumbo cars

      It will be difficult to manage Environment disaster and green house effect, the will be theme Natural Disasters not knowing we contributed to the mess by our actions and inaction.

      SUGGESTION: This point was raised somewhere in one article I read. I believe the deal not for the total abandonment of fossil fuel but a great reduction on the dependency. The total green energy  revolution is not possible for now. Even from Elon musk’s postulation , it will still take some long years before there can be anything meaningful. The politicians, the business men,the employees, other players know the implications. Even China has not even moved away from coal powered factories because they know the implication.

      RESPONSE: This is why Senator Ekweremadu was absolutely 100% right. Have you seen protest across Europe? Why do you think the Deputy Senate President of Nigeria had to make the comment if there was no pressure?. People keep making the example of Norway or Sweden  but fail to make room for other factors.

      OPINION: I know we have not been able to improve our power generation in national grid, which will affect us if we adopt Electric cars in the next decade. We can opt for gas cars integrated with solar system. I have seen that in China. We have waste in abundance it can be recycled and used as biogas for industries

      RESPONSE: Will solar powered cars work during Winter? No, but the cars are with gas engines. It is integrated. 

      * What about the batteries and charging points?

      * What about people that travel long distances

      * What about Lagosians that are trapped for hours in traffic? I accept your analysis looking at international prospective, change economy due deficits in old dept and change technologies.

      OPINION: Is a very sensitive topic Akeem but we are rather being sentimental and not empirical in looking at all the perspectives.

      First, let’s look at the ongoing adverse climate we are experiencing in Nigeria draught with scanty rains and spiked temperatures, this is already a nightmare at this level let alone the next 30 years! According to the Paris Agreement, if present energy consumption is not managed to a less than 2 degrees Celsius increase by 2050, then all the tsunamis, greenhouse effects, etc. experienced so far will be a child’s play compared to what happens then. Fossil fuels are the worst culprits and transportation sector is the highest contributor of CO2 gas all over the world.

      We should be looking at sustainable development and environmental stewardship in all energy transition plans. Sustainable development implies putting the best and wisest use of today’s natural resources without compromising the safety of future users. So our senator is simply arguing from a capitalist perspective.

      Where all the importers of generators and fossil fuel cars make contributions to these politicians… What do you expect?

      RESPONSE: Maybe we should stop all air flights, people should begin using horses and chariots, factories return to manual. Or reduce their operational time due to efficiencies of green energy etc

      We cannot jump steps if we want to develop. we must create and develop our own indigenous technologies. And in doing this, it will contribute to the pollution of the environment. Check out all the developed countries and the ones agitating for total green revolution, they passed through different phases and then mastered and perfected their technologies. They can decide to jump from one to another and still reverse

      OPINION: Go green will no doubt take its toll on precious metals from which batteries, wind turbines, solar PV cells, PCBs e.t.c are sourced. but, I believe, we should be focusing on a hybrid of options that will ultimately reduce drastically carbon footprints all over the world. PV, wind turbines, biofuels, geothermals, nuclear power, etc. are all far better options to managing climate change than fossil fuel options. Of course, we are not also saying ZERO fossil fuels but drastic reduction in their consumption.

      I believe that we also need to approach and dissect the issue from an angle of thorough understanding before making suggestions on the way forward. It is indeed a wild and wide topic to analyze!

      RESPONSE: I agree with all your points and these are the same points all proponents of green energy preach… they try to hide the realities on ground associated with the technology. This is why I mentioned that even in Alberta, Canada,  the people chose oil production in their last elections. The reality of testing versus true story, nobody is willing to pay for the deficits.

      OPINION: Serious improvements in global technology, economy, etc are needed to reduce the carbon footprint and socio-economic impacts of these clean energy initiatives to the barest minimum (or at least a level significantly better than using fossil fuels after a comparative life cycle assessment).

      I also think Africa as a whole is not ready for the green future ( renewable energy) for the next 20-30years, but if we embrace it now without doing the needful, we will be enslaved by the westerners. 

      The question is; how many charging points will be available? how long will it take to charge a battery? and how much will it cost to charge a battery?. This are unanswered questions we need to ask.

      OPINION: I believe we can’t abadone fossil fuel for now as a nation. But in the interim let’s invest money from the fossil fuel on infrastructure for the future. We can make it a Win-Win situation. Not saving but developing our infrastructure. What is d essence of saving without developing the infrastructure for the future?

      RESPONSE: Africa has no will to save! Let’s not deceive ourselves. The west won’t even like us to save. They keep borrowing us money even China borrow us money.

      OPINION: I think each home can have the charging equipment installed. It costs about $500 for a Tesla home charger, which can even be subsidized by any serious government. You can charge overnight using the wall charger but with the  supercharger it takes about 75 minutes to charge to 100%. Believe it or not, people already own and use electric cars in Nigeria.

      RESPONSE: Just like Doctor’s notes in the hospitals… lol. 

      In Ontario for example… over population is catching up and there is little space for people to even build good and sizable room houses. Where will they put these home chargers?

      Can you see the impact of private generators in Nigeria? And on the other hand most people will get home about same time and begin charging their cars about same time… think about the possible demand!

      You are talking about Tesla batteries, when we dont have one Tesla giga factory in Africa let alone Nigeria which means we are going back to importing economy. Talking about electric cars, we don’t even have factories that can produce fossil fueled cars let alone other variants electric cars, then it means we are going back to importation. You must be self sufficient to some extents to be fully confident of going green.

      QUESTION: What do you mean by the provision of “carbon processing plants”?

      ANSWER: Last time I worked with Guinness Nigeria (Diageo). Carbondixide is a major byproduct of brewing and fermentation. Guinness has a Carbondixide processing plant that freezes the CO2 into blocks and stored to be used for preservation. They even sell to companies like Coca cola and Pepsi.

      OPINION: cheaper to run cars on electricity than on fossil fuels. It’s cheaper to set up a recharging station than a petrol station. So, many people will be able to afford to build them. Losing power in the heavy traffic in Lagos is easy to take care of: don’t we carry power banks for our phones? What would stop electric cars from having extra batteries. Is it not possible to design the car in such a way that it recharges it’s batteries somehow? I think that’s too small for scientists to figure out. Waste disposal is a problem that can be solved by recycling. Batteries are among the easiest materials to recycle. Actually, the recycling of batteries are already ongoing.

      The truth is electric-powered cars will create jobs than the locked oil and gas industry. As for how soon we’ll have them cars on the streets of Nigeria (than we presently have), I say 5 years. Soon your petrol-powered cars would be very cheap but you’d prefer electric cars.

      OPINION: Never think it’s easy to carry extra power bank for cars? and do you also think it will create more jobs? What of the people that lost their jobs in this new future of green? What of the decontamination of existing fossil plants? Who will bear the costs? Who will give jobs to people who have lost their jobs in the oil and gas which is the highest employer in say Nigeria?

      If you try start a change organisation movement for green earth and see how much you will raise or you think these people and corporations don’t know about the Earth’s issues?  It is just not a true reflection of the validity of pursuing green options. It is only a reflection of man’s selfishness if you ask me. Selfishness is not doing away with what threatens others but brings you satisfaction.

      Hence, majority of the proponents of green energy either don’t have full info about the plans of the business men who are backing it. Or the counties of the West who propagate it.

      We just see the beautiful pictures they paint for us to see but have we evert think about the adverse effect on our future. Nobody knows how it will enslaved and destroy Africa. Congo, Zamfara and Sierea Leone are typical examples. No one cares what happens to the locals where the materials used for storage is dug from.

      Alberta has rejected this greener future idea last week, the 45th of the United State also rejected it. So who is the West again?

      When you see the green program, different powers have different views. And yet they are all careful about it.

      Whatever we do, we need to think really deep in Africa, hence my 100% support for Ike Ekweremadu (Deputy President of the United State.

      The westerners will borrow us money for the green projects, we will abandon our current source of revenue, our people will lose jobs, our economy will die, boko haram, kidnappers, terrorists and other criminal forms will get funding from same sources. we will have chaos in Nigeria. Ans once their is chaos in Nigeria, 200 million people will be spread as refugees across Africa.  Africa will become chaotic and all…. And because we can’t pay back the loans, even now that we sell crude we can’t talk less of when we stop

      Well, I want a greener planet at the end of the day.

      Thanks to all who contributed.

      Courtesy of the HSEQ Professionals Nigeria  Forum. 

      Edited by Francis Onasanya

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