• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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How cleaner energy in manufacturing can improve productivity, better environment

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Inadequate availability of power for Nigerian manufacturers has necessitated the use of alternative sources most of which are harmful to the environment, however manufacturers in Nigeria have been advised to adopt cleaner sources of energy to protect the environment while improving power generation for better productivity.

This was discussed at the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) & Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) policy dialogue Session for private sector CEOs, Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Project Management Unit (PMU) under the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

Discussions at the program which was themed ‘Energy Efficiency and Environmental Regulatory Framework in Nigeria: Challenges and Expectations’ aimed to bridge the gap between the private and public sectors in the area of energy efficiency, optimization & management systems, cleaner production, and environmental compliance in manufacturing.

According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s energy sector review, Nigeria has the ability to generate 12,522 megawatts (MW) of electric power from existing plants, but it is only able to distribute around 4,000MW.

However Nigeria ranked 169 in the getting electricity metric, scoring 47.4 points on the World Bank’s ease of doing business 2020 report and a zero in the reliability of power supply, hence local manufacturers are left to self-generate more than 8,000MW through alternative sources of energy in order to stay afloat.

In his address, Mansur Ahmed, president of MAN said energy is the main driver of any nation’s economy as the performance of all the sectors depends on its availability and usage. He added that most economies including Nigeria are challenged with insufficient energy supply which is evident by the inconsistency in energy supply and the high cost of providing alternative energy for industrial production in Nigeria.

He said addressing this challenge calls for energy management skills to help maximize the available energy optimally at all levels which will also facilitate sustainable and environmentally friendly development.

“It is necessary for industries to explore these energy efficiency strategies to curb energy wastages and augment the available electricity supply for maximum use to reduce the cost incurred in generating alternative energy and increase the competitiveness of Nigerian industries,” he said.

Mansur added that the adoption of IEE and RECP yields macroeconomic and social benefits, including enhanced energy security through reduced reliance on imported fossil fuels, reduced cost of production through the use of energy saving machinery and equipment, and employment generation as domestic energy efficiency industries are developed.

Jean Bakole, country representative and regional director, UNIDO regional office hub said that globally industries account for one-third of total energy consumption and for almost 40 percent of worldwide carbon emissions.

However the International Energy Agency (IEA) has emphasized that industries will need to reduce their current direct emissions globally by about 24 percent in comparison to 2007 levels.

Read also: Nigeria needs $30bn investment to meet domestic energy demand – NAPIMS

“The need to reduce energy consumption, environmental degradation, and resource depletion by industries in emerging economies is especially evident, since global growth in industrial production since 1990 has been dominated by emerging economies like India and China, both of which accounted for over 80 percent of increased industrial production during this period,” he said.

As part of its efforts to develop a clean and healthy environment, Bakole said UNIDO developed the IEE and RECP project which is the first of its kind at the organization as it strives to improve competitiveness and access to markets for industries while they improve their environmental performance.

Subsequently, over 18 countries around the world have also executed the IEE while over 60 countries implemented the RECP.

“We are hoping that this will eventually lead to the creation of National Cleaner Production Centers (NCPC) in the country, which will also promote a circular economy,” he said.

He revealed that a pilot financing RECP-IEE scheme will be executed through the Bank of Industry of Nigeria and Issues around IS0o 50000 and 14001 will be executed through Standards Organization of Nigeria.

“We hope to support not less than 75 industries across five sectors of food and beverage, wood and furniture, steel and metals, textiles and garment and petrochemicals, we will develop the capacity of the Organized Private Sector and develop not less than 300 Nigerian RECP-IEE experts,” he added