Dr. Victoria Nalule, a research fellow at the University of Dundee in the UK says Africa cannot do away with fossil fuel even though renewable energy is becoming popular.
According to her, it is not practicable enough for African countries to say goodbye to oil and gas, because the developed countries used that same means to develop.
She, however, said that countries on the continent can utilize renewable energy, alongside fossil fuel, but should embrace clean energy to mitigate the negative impacts of fossil fuels.
The scholar who has done extensive research around energy-related subjects was speaking at the Ghana Telecom University College’s Graduate School on ‘energy access and energy security challenges in developed and developing countries’, on Saturday.
The event was the 20th edition of the schools' prestigious lecture series.
She noted “I do not agree that Africa is ready to say goodbye to fossil fuels. We can utilize renewable energy resources, and we are already doing that because if you look at countries like Tanzania, Ghana, it has initiatives to embrace renewable energy.”
“However there are different scholarly debates that we have to say goodbye to oil and gas. It’s not practicable right now because African countries are developing countries, we are going through urbanization, industrialization. All these sectors require modern energy in order to operate,” she said.
She added “also based on the fact that the developed world has already utilized fossil fuel to develop themselves, so it’s also our turn to develop ourselves using fossil fuels. But however we have to be mindful of the various negative impacts associated with fossil fuels and in that regard we have to employ clean technology and we also have to embrace both renewable energy and also fossil fuels.”
“But you cannot say we are going to let go of oil and gas because we have renewables. At the moment we need all the energy resources we can have to address the various challenges we face on the continent,” she stressed.