Energy transition to create 122 million jobs by 2050

Energy transition

Clara Nwachukwu

As the world prepares for the transition to renewable energy, it is anticipated that up to 122 million jobs would be created from the process from now till 2050 arising from change in investments, capital markets and deliberate policies.

Also, renewable energy alone will account for more than a third of all energy jobs employing 43 million people globally, supporting the post-COVID recovery and long-term economic growth.

Notwithstanding that energy transition is a daunting task, it hopes to bring unprecedented new possibilities to revitalise economies and lift people out of poverty.

These are the findings from the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), released in Abu Dhabi, UAE, last week, further believes that accelerating energy transitions on a path to climate safety can grow the world’s economy by 2.4 per cent over the expected growth of current plans within the next decade.

The IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook sees renewables-based energy systems pushing deep changes that will resonate across economies and societies.

Energy transition and PIB

Indeed, the dreaded impact of the global energy transition on Nigeria’s mono petroleum economy is believed to have spurred the quick passage of the now controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Admitting to the fact during a monitored programme on Arise TV, this morning a member of the House of Representatives, Musa Sarki Adar, said given the realisation of the global migration to renewable energy, “We need as much as we could to utilise the oil resources within the shortest possible time before they become obsolete.”

Besides, the lawmaker said they had to fast-track the passage of the PIB to avert a similar experience that happened with coal.

“There is an abundance of coal in the eastern region of this country, and coal is still relevant. But because the relevance has reduced, nobody is talking about coal anymore and the coal is still underneath the earth and it is not helping our future. So the same reason applies to the oil resource, we need to tap the resources and dollarize it, get the money and come and develop our sectors.”

IRENA is convinced that phasing out coal, limiting investments in oil and gas to facilitate a swift decline and a managed transition as well as embracing technology, policy and market solutions will put the global energy system on track for a 1.5°C pathway. “By 2050, a total of $33 trillion of additional investment are required into efficiency, renewables, end-use electrification, power grids, flexibility, hydrogen and innovations.”

While defending the allocation of as much as 30% NNPC Ltd. Profit for frontier exploration as proposed in the Bill, Adar, who is also a member of the PIB Committee in the lower chamber, said developing Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources is the only way to attract new foreign direct investment (FID) into the country.

He said: “…in the last eight years, there has been no new FID in the oil sector, because the oil majors are concerned that there is no enabling law that guarantees their investment.”

There is consensus that an energy transition grounded in renewables and efficient technologies is the only way to give us a fighting chance of limiting global warming by 2050 to 1.5°C.

He, however, could not explain why despite the threat of the energy transition, the PIB was silent on promoting investment in alternative energy, even as the international financiers have warned that it will not fund any new project on hydrocarbon resources to contain global warming.

IRENA Outlook

Commenting on the Outlook,

IRENA’s Director-General, Francesco La Camera, “There is consensus that an energy transition grounded in renewables and efficient technologies is the only way to give us a fighting chance of limiting global warming by 2050 to 1.5°C. As the only realistic option for a climate-safe world, IRENA’s vision has become mainstream.”

Accordingly, he said: “This Outlook represents a concrete, practical toolbox to total reorientation of the global energy system and writes a new and positive energy narrative as the sector undergoes a dynamic transition,”   

Although the Outlook outlines a set of frameworks and financing structures necessary to advance a transition, each country will however determine what the best is for them.   

The Outlook also sees “Sharp adjustments in capital flows and a reorientation of investments are necessary to align energy with a positive economic and environmental trajectory,” adding that “Forward-looking policies can accelerate transition, mitigate uncertainties, and ensure maximum benefits of energy transition.”

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