ICESE 2019: Technology Innovation, Urban Energy Planning, Others Pivotal to Sustainable Development – Expert
An Associate Professor in the Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino, Italy, Pierluigi Leone has postulated that technology innovation, institutional innovation, and Urban energy planning amongst others were crucial to the successful propagation of Sustainable Development.
Professor Leone, Keynote Speaker at the 2019 edition of the International Conference on Energy and Sustainable Environment (ICESE), held in Covenant University, stated that urban energy planning was fundamental to address the key issues that cities would bring in the near future, innovation for industry sustainability needed to be fostered to reduce emissions, increasing affordability with Industry as prosumers, and renewable energy integration was a key point in infrastructure development especially when intermittent sources were considered.
Speaking on the theme of the conference titled, ‘Green and Innovative Energy Solutions for Sustainable Development’, Professor Pierluigi, who teaches Sustainable Energy, Thermal Design and Optimization, and Global Energy Trends and Outlook, described energy as the lifeblood of the global society and it also supported prosperity. “However, the way we use it brings detrimental effect and tension at the geopolitical level,” he said.
The Keynote Speaker admitted that the international community had strived to tackle grand challenges facing society such as energy, water, climate, food, and health. He said that, for instance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 launched the International Energy Agency to help countries in the collective response to energy supply crisis.
While stating that the environmental impact of energy uses later flanked the issue of resource disruptions, he noted that access to affordable, clean and modern energy for all was a goal set by the United Nations in the recently launched 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “The twenty-first century is the time for implementing a transition toward a more green, equitable and fair global energy system. Many Institutions and Universities worldwide have established specific research and competence centres to address this transition. Most of them foster a multi-disciplinary approach to the energy challenge in the coordination of the various sectorial research activities,” he submitted.
He revealed that the Energy Center Initiative at the Politecnico di Torino aimed to become a national and international hub for energy research, education and outreach and set the conditions for long-term and global breadth research in the strategic field of energy transition.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant, Professor AAA. Atayero, represented by the Dean, College of Engineering, Professor David Omole, said that Sustainable Development was a vital issue globally, because the future of all facets of life in the planet was being threatened by the effects of global warming.
He averred that since life-sustaining activities continued to experience dramatic changes with implications on social and economic activities, socio-economic progress and growth paradigm needed to be reviewed and restructured to mitigate the detrimental effects of global warming on the environment and the preservation of various natural resources for future generation.
Professor Atayero posited that to alleviate poverty, improve citizen’s well-being and reduce inequalities, Africa must sustainably produce its own energy. The continent, he stated, was abundantly blessed with green resources to generate cleaner, cheaper and accessible sustainable energy. He added that Covenant was committed to green research in the areas of science and technology, which included green and innovative energy solutions.
Earlier, while delivering his welcome address, the Chairman, ICESE 2019 Organising Committee, Dr. Gershon Obindah, acknowledged that the geopolitical energy map of the world was shifting with accelerating impact of technological development, which was increasing man’s potential to use energy efficiently and sustainably without destroying the environment.
According to Dr. Obindah, who is the Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, “Nigeria currently has an energy emergency that appears to be worsening with population growth. Meeting the need of providing affordable energy for the growing populace while pursuing economic growth is acentral issue for the 21st century”.
He said that the ICESE had brought together local and international researchers, policymakers, industrialists, and innovators in the various fields of endeavor towards identifying and implementing innovative solutions for Nigeria’s sustainable development.
The three-day conference attracted startups, government officials, international development organisations, environmental agencies as well as key stakeholders in the environment and energy ecosystem.