Africa should reposition its energy industry to ensure its resources become more efficient for the future, the Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown, has said.
Brown who spoke at the opening of the 41st Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) International Conference and Exhibition in Lagos urged African countries to accept the reality that energy has a key role to play in the future of the continent.
He said the integration of the energy value chain was essential for the continent’s anticipated progress, development and growth.
Brown spoke on the theme “Repositioning the Oil & Gas Industry for Future Energy Dynamics”.
“Repositioning the oil and gas sector for the future requires the understanding of certain fundamentals, including accepting the fact that the sector will have a key role to play well into the future – particularly in Africa. That the energy industry needs to become much more efficient with its resources, and that the integration of the energy value chain is essential,” he said.
Also, he said a functioning energy backbone (Base load) was a barrier to wide-scale renewable energy, adding that in all these, Africa must come to terms with the fact that Development and Environment must not become competing objectives.
Energy, he pointed out, was critical to the region’s economic and social development, adding that industry data showed that more than 600 million Africans have no access to energy, apart more than 900 million others who do not have access to clean cooking.
He said the data also showed that eight percent energy access was in rural West Africa, while fewer than half of the utilities in sub-Saharan Africa recover their operating costs.
Every year, Brown said the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with combined population approximately one billion, generate roughly the same energy as Spain (with a population of approximately 45 million)
Quoting industry sources, Brown said five-fold increase in investment was required to reach United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the 17 SDGs by 2030.
For the Energy Outlook, he said achieving Africa’s energy and climate goals meant more than doubling energy investment this decade; of which the goal of universal access to modern energy calls for investment of $25 billion per year
For Seplat Energy, he said Nigeria’s energy trilemma, which drives energy transition, remains sustainability, energy security/access and energy affordability.