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Business News of Friday, 18 February 2022

Source: GNA

Don't rush into energy transition without having structures – Professor

Oil and gas exploration Oil and gas exploration

Government has been cautioned to resist all forms of coercion to relinquish its oil and gas resources for renewable energy without having proper structures in place.

Professor Emeritus Omowumi Iledare, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Commerce Chair of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) warned that the country could, among other unintended consequences, become energy dependent since it did not have the economic power and technical abilities to cope with the energy transformation.

Making a strong case for the petroleum sector, he insisted that Ghana must develop its energy sector with strategic thinking within its own context, citing energy affordability, security and sustainability.

“I am not opposed to renewable energy or green energy. Who is going to pay if we don’t use our resources now to grow our economy so that we can pay for the energy that we are looking forward to get?” he queried.

Professor Iledare was speaking at the seventh Public Lecture Series and Award Ceremony by the GNPC Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Commerce and the Institute for Oil and Gas Studies, UCC on the theme: “The Dawn of Global Systems Transformation: Strategic Thinking and Transitioning Options.”

The event was to crown the third year activities of the GNPC Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Commerce at UCC and usher the school into the final phase of the project aimed at advancing knowledge and skill capacity for petroleum and energy sectors through learning, training and research.

At the end of the ceremony, eight students were awarded certificates, plaques and laptops for undergoing an enrichment programme in petroleum and energy studies sponsored by GNPC.

Renewable energy resource was considered critical to curbing global temperature caused by the exploitation of fossil fuel for industrialisation mainly by developed nations.

There was a massive global campaign for countries to move away from fossil fuel to renewal energy owing to global warming and its impact on the world.

Consequently, many African countries, including Ghana were making frantic efforts through various forms of investments to replace its fossil fuel with non-fossil fuel.

But Professor Iledare believed that the need for energy transition should not be based only on the environment but also energy equity and energy security and averred that Ghana must pursue energy mix.

“We can't sacrifice one energy source for the other. Renewable energy must not kill the petroleum sector.

“…I’m not saying there is not global warming, neither am I saying petroleum is not contributing to it. But the solution of petroleum to global warming is not divestment. It is intellectual and technical advancement.”

He indicated that green energy had come to stay and that the pace of adoption must not be dictated by people from outside.

“Energy is life. Its consumption drives prosperity and sustainability. The world will continue to seek robust energy mix driven by economics, technology, policy and good governance through strategic thinking,” he noted.

Professor Johnson Nyarko Boampong, the Vice-Chancellor of the university expressed appreciation to GNPC for establishing of the Centre in the school.

He also commended the Corporation for collaborating with UCC to construct a building complex worth $5million.

“The building will hold offices of the faculty of law, Institute for Oil and Gas Studies and the Chair of the Centre of Excellence in Petroleum Commerce,” he revealed.