The global call for clean energy transition has gained momentum in the last few years as the world works towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals 7 (SDG 7). 

This Sustainable goal in conjunction with other policies hopes to achieve a green world where GreenHouse Carbon Emissions reach net zero around the world by 2030.

Developed countries and leaders around the world are leading the charge to encourage all countries to cut down carbon emissions which will lead to a stable climate on planet earth.

Recently, the COP 28 took place in Saudi Arabia and there have been concerns raised, policies proposed, and commitments made to face out the use of fossil fuels for other clean energy sources. 

Dr. Riverson Oppong at a recent training for journalists on Energy Transition, organised by Citi TV/Fm with support from Natural Resources Governing Institute, encouraged Ghana and the rest of Africa to embrace the Energy transition program as proposed globally. 

The experienced Oil and Gas Business Analyst with solid technical and commercial knowledge in oil and gas field development and portfolio management believes ‘this energy transition needs to be handled holistically’ and the nation must study the trends across the world and adjust accordingly. 

“With this energy transition, we must move in a way the global market moves, but we should be careful how you(Ghana) move because people are going to rush as some nations cut the coal and they are struggling”, Dr Riverson cautioned. 

Dr. Riverson made reference to the case of natural gas, citing that “now we are replacing oil and coal with natural gas. The past, companies that discovered gas 15-20 years ago abandoned it because it was not the need. But today we are all looking for gas; because that is where the attention is. So attention should change as we go on. Like it has been said ‘the stone age did not end because of the lack of stones”  

He acknowledged that the world has constantly being transitioning from one thing to the other that ‘this is not the first time we are transitioning’

It is believed the energy transition (or energy system transformation) is a significant structural change in an energy system regarding supply and consumption. 

According to experts in the field, the transition points to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption – including oil, natural gas and coal – to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries. 

However, currently natural gas is considered a transition fuel and the good news is that Ghana has also discovered Lithium. 

The increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix, the onset of electrification and improvements in energy storage are all key drivers of the energy transition.

For this Dr. Oppong mentioned that ‘as far as the energy transition mix is concerned, we(Ghana) have transitioned. But that is not the energy generation which is causing C02 emission. We have the transport sector’. With this he gave an example of how the affluent lifestyle has contributed to the GreenHouse Emissions,

“When I was growing up my father had only one car and we saw it only on Sundays. And during the week he would take his bicycle to work. Today, he drives his car every day. He is a pensioner and he drives around. I own more cars because I can afford it”. This he believes also contributes to C02 emissions. 

Moving on, the expert raised a critical point in regards to the global transition where he mentioned that “I agree with all those who posit that the energy transition will not be a one-fit-for-all. How I(a nation) will transition today in this continent will not be the same way another transitions”.

To this end, the expert proposed a trilemma which focuses on sustainable availability of energy source or generation, the accessibility of energy which has to do with the supply of power to end users, and affordability; where end users are able to pay for the energy. 

“Ghana is doing well in terms of availability as it generates more than it consumes everyday. We have hydro, we have (natural) gas and then renewables” Dr. Oppong added   

In addition “We(Ghana) are developing a nuclear power source which is wonderful if all security and safety measures are put in place. You know why? When an accident happened at Atuabo only people who were there suffered. But  when there is an accident with nuclear power there will be serious damages across the country”.

Dr. Riverson Oppong stressed on the importance that Ghana and the rest of Africa should carefully study and understand the merits and demerits of adopting policies around the energy transition.