For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Renewable Energy Key for Environmental Sustainability -NMS

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The President, Nigerian Metallurgical Society, Prof. Oyihi Oloche has said the solution to the problem of environmental sustainability to protect the future needs of the next generation is the energy transition to renewable resources.

The President stated this, in his welcome remarks at the 37th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, Abuja Hybrid 2022, which began today with the theme “Role of Materials Industry in Energy Mix Transition and Environmental Sustainability”.

President, Nigeria Metarllurgical Society, Eng. Prof. Oyihi Oloche (M) Flanked by a representative to the Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, FNAL (L) in Abuja, Today.

Defining sustainable environment “As the interaction of humans with the environments in the most efficient way where the needs of humans are met, but humans do not destroy the environment in the process, Oloche said Environmental sustainability is very important to ensure that the future needs of the next generations are protected.”

He stated that energy is one of the primary factors for human civilization, adding that energy resources can be classified as primary energy resources which are directly used without the need to convert them to another form, or secondary energy resources where they are converted from a primary energy source.

The Don, who identified the earth as a global environment opined that the activities of one country can affect all other countries. “For instance, even though the European Union has committed through its vision for 2050 to produce net zero greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable energy, global warming will still increase if the other countries continue to use fossil fuels”.

He revealed there are new opportunities in the material science research field, where the need for the transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy production, is called Energy transition. Adding that, Researchers had shown that even though fossil fuels produce high amounts of energy, they are destroying the planet with harmful gasses like carbon dioxide in higher quantities, which increase global warming.

In her welcome remarks, the Minister of State, for Mines and Steel Development Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who was represented by the Director General/ Chief Executive Officer, of Nigeria Institute of Mining and Geosciences, (NMGS) Prof. Suleiman Bolaji added that “Today’s industrial society has become entirely dependent on materials, as it produces more of them, builds an increasingly complex society, and accumulates an incredible volume of materials in use”

The Minister stated that an energy transition disrupts the status quo as a new energy source emerges, leading to a structural and permanent change in supply, demand, energy mix, and prices.

“Energy transition refers to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption including oil, natural gas, and coal to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries. 

View of participants at the event

She noted that what is driving the current energy transition is a technology-based switch from fossil fuels to renewables, supported by an almost ubiquitous societal push towards a sustainable future.

“The energy transition currently underway is about a transformational switch away from fossil fuels and into renewable and clean sources of energy (solar, wind, and water). This has only accelerated due to the coronavirus and the resultant impact on oil prices. More efficient use of energy (using technology such as LEDs, compact fluorescent lights, smart thermostats, and appliances) and biofuels also feature”.

She noted that “Our growing and increasingly affluent global population with high demands for materials and resources is driving an exponential growth in material production and it is increasingly clear that this “economic success story” is now running into physical limits. She added that the Earth’s resources are not infinite, but until recently, they have seemed to be. Increasingly, we realize that our society may be approaching certain limits as our society has operated as an open system on a finite planet, transforming resources to products that are eventually discarded into the environment”.

“This, coupled with the massive increase in the use of materials, has led to growing impacts on the environment, as large amounts of energy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water, solid wastes, and other emissions to air and water are directly tied to the production and use of materials, and also affecting land use change, and increase biodiversity.”

The Director General/ Chief Executive Officer, of Nigeria Institute of Mining and Geosciences, (NMGS) Prof. Suleiman Bolaji, (M) representing the Minister of State, for Mines and Steel Development Senator Gbemisola Saraki presenting the Ministers address during NMS Conference in Abuja, Today.

Speaking on the NMS, the Minster stated that the society which was founded in the ’70s was formed to meet a basic mandate for professionalism in the field of Metallurgical Engineers, Metallurgists, Materials Engineers, Materials Scientists, and other related professionals in the allied disciplines to complement the efforts for the core professions.

She added that in recent times, the Society has been serving as an advisory body to the government and other stakeholders with the aim of advocating for the repositioning of the Metal, Mineral, and Material sectors.  The Society has also continued to create awareness that the nation has great potential in terms of human and capacity building for moving the nation to be a self–sufficient country in almost every endeavor of mankind, therefore translating the country to become one of the strongest nations in the world to be reckoned with.

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