Africa in fragile position on energy transition, investment - OPEC

Energy stakeholders must unite on this issue to ensure an equitable distribution of energy that leaves no one behind
OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has expressed worry about the transition implications for Nigeria and other African countries as the globe adapts to rapidly changing dynamics in the energy market in an effort to reduce the repercussions of climate change.

Africa, according to the cartel, is in a precarious position, with disparities that existed prior to the pandemic now in danger of being amplified.

At the 1st high-level meeting of the OPEC-Africa energy dialogue yesterday, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo stated that, with energy poverty on the continent, COVID-19 serves as a stark reminder of the need for deeper cooperation to prioritize energy access, strengthen community resilience, and be able to use global energy resources to support the continent's development.

He said,

As a result, OPEC will continue to fight for a balanced and inclusive energy transition that promotes all energy sources while prioritizing Africa's investment needs .

One key challenge lurking on the long-term horizon, according to Barkindo, is a lack of significant sector investment.

According to the most recent estimates from OPEC, upstream capital expenditures will have decreased by 30% or more in 2020.

“Our 2020 World Oil Outlook estimates that $12.6 trillion will be required between now and 2045 in the upstream, midstream and downstream. We must continue to advocate a turnaround in this very upsetting trend. The very future of our industry is at stake. The fact is that oil and gas will continue to be a vital part of the energy needs to ensure future demand is met, and thus policies must change in this regard.

“Another issue of utmost concern in Africa is the scourge of energy poverty, which continues to impact millions across the continent. According to OPEC data, an estimated 47 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has no electricity and approximately 85 per cent of people lack access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking. Considering the richness of the continent’s resources, both conventional and renewable, this is simply hard to accept; he said.

He added that,

“Energy stakeholders must unite on this issue to ensure an equitable distribution of energy that leaves no one behind. OPEC supports the first-ever universal goal related to energy, SDG7, which seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

“Demand in developing regions, including Africa, with its rapidly growing population and dynamic demographical shifts will be intensified, and all forms of energy will be needed, not only to support the post-pandemic recovery but to satisfy long-term energy requirements”.