A Power System Analyst at Wartsila, Mahmood Bakhtawar Shah, has stated that Nigeria can save over $74 billion by 2030 via transition from fossil fuels.

This, he said, is achievable if Nigeria pushes aggressively its vision 30:30:30, which aims at generating 30 per cent renewable energy to attain 30 gigawatts installed capacity by 2030. He stated this on the sidelines of Wartsila Nigeria smart energy forum in Lagos.

According to him, the present energy system is highly based on diesel, adding that fossil fuels are quite expensive when compared to gas.

“Nigeria has cheaper gas in the southern region and if the country utilises that gas, it will help the country save a lot. This is the total amount the country would save by 2030. It is an indicative value and could be more or less than that depending on a lot of factors,” he claimed.

He said another primary saving in fuel costs would be Nigeria saving over $84 billion if it pursues its vision of 30:30:30 deploying an accelerated 30:30:30.

“We have two scenarios. With scenario 30:30:30 Business as Usual, the country saves $74 billion and when you compare it with scenario accelerated 30:30:30, the country could save $84 billion,” he said.

Also speaking, the Ambassador, Embassy of Finland in Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, said Nigeria is not alone as regards the challenges faced by the world economies to transit into cleaner and cheaper fuel, stressing that natural gas has been identified as a transition fuel for the country.

She added that Finland is committed to supporting Nigeria to address the challenges it faces in reducing emissions and expanding energy access to households and industries across the country.

The Growth and Development Director, Africa and Europe, Wartsila, Ville Rimali, added that the energy sector would play a significant role in decarbonisation, advising that renewables are the cheapest sources of electricity globally.

“The future of energy is renewable and balancing energy solutions is needed to achieve net-zero. Balancing the capacity will provide the flexibility,” he said.

He listed steps for regions worldwide to reach net-zero to include: prioritising initiatives to encourage renewable energy adoption, adding gas-based balancing solutions and energy storage, phasing out inflexible coal and gas power plants, converting sustainable fuels and phasing out fossil fuels.

On his part, the Managing Director, Wartsila Nigeria, Wale Yusuf, said in the context of “The decade of gas” launched by the President of Nigeria in early 2021 to seize the country’s opportunities to exploit gas resources for a cleaner energy future, and also in the context of infrastructure developments, Wartsila believes that flexible power plants based on engine technology are the key to clean, reliable and affordable electricity in the country.

He added that replacing old and small diesel generators which are still in use across Nigeria, with modern gas engine-based power plants is vital for Nigeria to reduce emissions and lower the costs of power generation.

The General Manager, Shell Energy Nigeria, Markus Hector, said over 40 per cent of Nigerians lack access to electricity, projecting that the demand for gas would triple in the next decade.

He added that a lot of infrastructure development is required across the board to achieve the decade of gas mandate.