Stakeholder harps on importance of fossil fuel in global energy mix

February 5, 2020
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An oil and gas stakeholder has underscored the importance of fossil fuel in the global energy mix and calls for a switch to renewable and clean energy.

Mr. Lekan Akinyanmi, Chief Executive Officer, Lekoil posited that countries must creatively complement the use of fossil fuels and renewable energy in the interim pending when renewable energy can stand alone as major source of energy globally.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos recently, Akinyanmi argued that “It is possible to keep an oil and gas company sustainable.  The first thing we have got to do is to stop denying that there is an issue. Indeed, there is an issue. The change from fossil fuel to alternative energy or cleaner fuels is a multi-decade or probably multi-century thing. The fossil fuel industry will still be relevant. I think probably for the rest of our life time. What we need to do is to figure out ways to be responsible in the fossil fuel production and consumption process.

“Historically, a lot of fossil fuel companies have produced oil and flared the gas. But it is actually the gas that is more efficient. It is friendlier to the environment, so we need to shift our attention there. From our perspective as a company, one of the things that help us is that, a good chunk of our portfolio is gas so we are actually well on our way.”

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Energy analysts suggest that the renewable energy market will grow at a cumulative average growth rate of 7.6 per cent between 2020 and 2025 to reach 3,812GW by 2025.  Rising investment and improvement in technology has seen a drastic improvement in renewable energy output.

Between 2020 and 2025, the United States and other developed countries are scaling up investments in renewable energy. However, The Asia Pacific region is emerging as the fastest-growing market for renewable energy globally, accounting for nearly 27 per cent of the global market share. Within the Asia Pacific, China and India together form the leading renewable energy markets having almost 75 per cent of the installed capacity of renewable energy.

In 2018, China heavily invested in renewable energy projects having a total capacity of nearly 696GW and emerged as the leading country, dominating the global market in three renewable energy technologies, namely, wind, hydropower, and solar energy.

“I think we will make our way through this. Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of brinkmanship. We actually do need an energy mix to solve the world’s energy problems. In the interim there will be discontinuities, the pendulum will swing both ways. But it is shortsighted to just ignore the fossil fuel industry and move to the renewable energy industry or vice versa. We need a portfolio that mixes both energy sources,” Akinyanmi said.

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