Can Levene Energy be considered the modern agent of sustainable energy?

Energy remains a basic necessity of life, helping people to get by every day. But in recent years, investment and conversations around how energy is generated and consumed have witnessed the most dramatic shift. Yet it remains a moving one.

Think of the medieval beginnings when early men had to ignite fire through friction from stones to cook food. From that time on to the discovery of coal and other fossils, which powered the industrial revolution of the 18th century and now renewables, humans have always wanted more from energy. This has led to endless discoveries. Energy innovation after innovation has forced people and businesses to constantly adapt to energy changes that can sometimes be disruptive throughout history, shaping how the world around us evolves.

Fossil fuels like coal and crude oil are not only harmful to the planet, but they are also finite resources compromising the safety of future generations and ecosystems. Hence, the global push towards sustainable energy better known as renewables. This includes energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass which are readily replaced, viable and cannot be depleted, and which emit little or no greenhouse gases (GHG).

In the Nigerian energy scene, the search for sustainable energy had been long-drawn and often marred by indifference on the part of the government coupled with low private investment. This has led to a lack of access to energy in many parts. Until recently, the pattern of change observed in domestic energy consumption in Nigeria had revolved around ‘dirty’ fuels as it often mutated from firewood-coal-kerosene and biomass (sawdust) depending on the state of the economy and citizens’ purchasing power per time.

This decade, more Nigerians have transitioned from using kerosene and charcoal to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), or cooking gas, as its consumption hit a record 1 million metric tonnes in 2020. Derived from fossil fuels, cooking gas is widely considered as a cleaner alternative and a transition fuel that could help to deepen energy access in the long run. But cooking gas affordability remains a big challenge to many Nigerians, especially now that the country is dealing with a cost-of-living crisis.

Read also: Levene: Navigating fresh terrains in Nigeria’s energy sector

For instance, while coal and firewood used for domestic cooking has been declining in most parts of urban Nigeria, the same cannot be said for people living in rural communities who cannot afford cooking gas. As per the National Bureau of Statistics data, energy poverty still pervades as 68.3% of Nigerian households use solid biomass (firewood and charcoal) for cooking.

In several international fora, the Nigerian government often makes commitments to achieve Sustainable Energy for all (SE4All) by 2030, a plan which took after the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – ‘Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’. Not just that, Nigeria also aims to cut carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2060, emphasising the crucial role that gas will play in the country’s clean energy roadmap going forward. The plans look good on paper. How about walking the talk?

While transitioning to cleaner energy sources will help Africa’s largest oil producer achieve the emission reduction plans it committed to in its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, the set milestones can only be achieved by attracting the right private capital to the energy sector and by ensuring that the policies and actions of the government are adequately followed through in line with the best global practices.

Gone are the days when investment could be made in just about any energy source. It’s not as simple as that any more as the global factors at play are enormous. This underscores why Nigeria, at this juncture, needs energy companies with the capacity and cutting-edge innovations to serve as modern vehicles to drive the country’s sustainable energy plans.

In view of this, we at Levene Energy are proud to say that we are a company that understands the global dynamics and urgency around energy sustainability, provision and access. As a Nigerian-based (and globally focused) company, Levene Energy, in its operations and deliverables, has continued to implement legacy initiatives focused on energy transition, notwithstanding the effects of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict on the global energy market, hampering energy sustainability in countries.

Beyond answering the question of how much energy can be produced, established energy companies and start-up investments must be keen on the method of production and consumption and how sustainable energy is wheeled out to the end-users. Levene has not deviated from this, relying on the latest technology and its network of highly skilled professionals.

The current project being undertaken by Levene Energy: the construction of Building Integrated PhotoVoltaic (BIPV), is said to be the largest in Africa. BIPVs are products and systems that generate solar power and can be easily integrated into different building parts, including roofs and windows. The project, when completed, will further open up the solar energy space in Nigeria and set the country on the cusp of reaching a new renewable milestone.

As hinted in a recently launched Renewable Energy Roadmap (Remap) by the Nigerian government and the International Renewable Energy Agency, in Nigeria, nearly 60% of the nation’s energy demand by 2050 is projected to be met through renewable energy sources.

The global renewable power capacity is expected to grow by 2400 gigawatts (GW) in just five years; between 2022 and 2027. This is as much as the renewable power added in the last 20 years, according to a recent forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The forecast further indicated that solar and wind sources would be the biggest driver of renewables.

If investments in renewables are aggressive enough, bookmakers are projecting it could drive down costs and give more people access to energy in remote areas, something Levene Energy already has in the pipeline. Following its strategic partnership with NNPC Gas Marketing Limited (NGML) to build and operate gas pipelines, Levene Energy is primed to take advantage of the gas commercialisation policy of the Nigerian government, rapidly evolving as a modern agent of sustainable energy on the African continent.

To harness the abundance of potential that was hitherto untapped in the energy sector as well as achieve Nigeria’s goal of universal access to energy by 2030, government and operators in the energy sector would have to synergise and lead practical initiatives targeted at making more energy companies with the right mix of technologies and private capital key into the nation’s energy sustainability plans.

This will fast-track Nigeria’s pursuit of the United Nations’ net-zero emissions plans by 2060 and bolster energy security in a nation of over 200 million people.

.Ogbe is the group chief executive officer, Levene Energy Holdings.

Widget Code-