Covenant University Hosts International Conference on Renewable Energy
A two-day international conference and workshop on renewable energy recently held at Covenant University, Ota. The forum, which was the second in the series commenced on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 with the theme: Independent Power Production From Renewable Energy Technology.
Giving an insight into the area of discourse the event would go, the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Henry Boyo of the Department of Physics, University of Lagos said it was time Nigeria embraced indigenous technology as the fulcrum to making a success of independent power production from renewable energy.
He cited the Japanese education curriculum as a very good example that embraced indigenous technology from the grassroots and moved up to the state level. The Senior Lecturer and Head of Hardware Development Laboratory, University of Lagos said that for Nigeria to move forward, it needs her own indigenous technology, tailored to meet her peculiar needs just as Japan did.
Dr. Boyo noted that the failure of successive leaders to rightly identify the power challenges facing the country has been central to the nation’s inability to finding lasting solutions. He stated that renewable energy is for everybody, even those in rural areas. “It’s not only about Solar Panels, it also talks about Biomass, Biogas and converting waste to wealth. It tends to favour the common man and those in the rural areas more,” he added.
The erudite scholar pointed out that until the recurring challenges of power generation and distribution are treated, effective use of renewable energy technology would be a mirage.
Another resource person, Dr. James Titiloye, a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom said that the time had come for Nigeria to move in the direction of other industrialized nations of the world, else the nation runs the risk of being left behind.
Dr. Titiloye said most developed economies, despite their huge oil deposits, are now exploring alternative means of energy and for Nigeria, there are huge benefits that could be amassed from the scheme.
He stated further that the peculiar climate in Nigeria is advantageous in the sense that diverse renewable options could be harnessed to create a solar-biomass hybrid form of renewable energy.
Dr. Titiloye opined that government at all levels must begin to invest in the next generation through quality education on the subject of renewable energy. According to him, “In the next 10 years things would change and there would be need for us to adapt to the new world of power generation, so that the next generation would not be challenged, when crude oil is not available,” he posited.
In her welcome address, the Head, Department of Physics, Covenant University, Dr. Marvel Akinyemi said, Covenant University through the College of Science and Technology was poised to generate energy without the burning of carbonaceous fuel.
Dr. Akinyemi observed that the human race is at the verge of either a breakthrough into a more robust, reliable and atmospheric friendly renewable energy production or cave-in under the weight of the present incompetent energy resources.
She declared that the special assembly would focus on leading topical issues and practical demonstrations centered on the theme of the conference.
Declaring the Conference open, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Charles Ayo commended the Department of Physics for organizing the conference, saying ‘it was timely considering the current power situation in Nigeria.’
Professor Ayo, who was accompanied by the Registrar, Dr. Ubong Ntia, appealed to the researchers present at the conference to help the nation ‘get it right’ in terms of developing educational framework that would be research based. This he said was the platform upon which the nation could fare better.
The Professor of Computer Science challenged the gathering to help the nation breakaway from depending on foreign solutions and begin to churn out solutions from within. “I want to appeal to you all gathered here not to leave Nigeria the way it is now at the end of this conference. Definitely, we must move forward and this can only happen when you all could proffer solutions that would touch and impact on the lives of all and sundry,” he concluded.
The conference attracted physicists from other tertiary institutions, players in the manufacturing industry and students. The events also featured products and exhibitions from various researchers and manufacturers.