FUTA Steps Up Renewable Energy Initiative
As part of its contribution to solving the country’s power challenge the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) has stepped up its initiative on Renewable Energy.
Participants at the event
To further harness its potentials in this sector, a colloquium tagged 2015 Renewable Energy summit was held on Tuesday, March 24 where experts from various fields charted the way forward.
Convener of the Summit and Director, Centre for Renewable Energy Technology (CRET), FUTA, Prof. Olurinde Lafe while highlighting the vision and mission of the Centre said purposeful collaboration which is crucial to attaining the goal of Renewable Energy is possible in a business environment that fosters innovation.
He called on Universities, research centres, industries and government agencies to come together through purposeful collaboration achievable by having proposals and other knowledge infrastructure that can develop new technologies to tackle energy challenge currently facing the nation.
He said “Innovation is the process of transforming knowledge into new products, processes and services which, in turn generate new economic benefits. For this process to succeed, a complete system must be available that supports the movement of a new idea from initial concept, through research and development, to a ready-for-market product”.
On how to achieve a FUTA Campus Power Supply (FCPS), Professor Lafe welcomed proposals from individuals, Departments, Units to come together so as to build a formidable power house for FUTA.
To achieve this, he said his Centre is always ready to collate ideas from the public that will eventually translate to achieving uninterruptible power supply everywhere on FUTA Campus at the most cost effective and economically sustainable rate.
Lafe also said that the University stands to improve on its Internally Generated Revenue and also develop its capacity through staff and students involvement in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Campus Power Supply. The don further encouraged the University Community on constant collaboration, innovation and commercialization of the power supply when generated to solve the power challenge currently facing the University and its environ.
He urged the Management of the University not to relent on its effort to further take FUTA to the market place. He said “As a University of Technology, the nation rely heavily on us to proffer solution to the nation’s energy challenge. We cannot continue to depend on the Federal Government alone. The Government has a role to play, while the ivory towers have theirs too. Let us position our Institution as the one that has what it takes to proffer solution to the nation’s energy challenge. As a Centre, we are ready to take the challenge. Many Institutions home and abroad, are willing to collaborate with us. At the moment, we are working with some of them and very soon the result will start to show.”
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Tolulope Akinbogun said the University had resolved to make renewable energy one of its focal research areas. This informed the establishment of the Centre for Renewable Energy Technology (CRET) to spearhead, coordinate and facilitate research and community service in renewable energy.
Lamenting the negative effect of lack of enough energy on the nation’s economy, Daramola said “We all know that a nation’s economic prosperity is largely dependent on its industrial productivity. We also know that a great driver of industrial growth and productivity is energy. It is therefore not any longer news that companies and industries are folding up in Nigeria because of energy challenge, a situation that escalates the cost of production through alternative source of energies. We in FUTA strongly believe this trend can be halted and it must start from the University with purpose driven research like ours.”
Speaking on the energy potentials of Nigeria, he said “We are a nation naturally endowed with everything that can be used to generate energy; rivers, wind, waste, coal, sun, etc. These have been grossly under-explored as alternative sources of energy and this under-utilization has contributed to our over-dependence on hydropower and consequently, its acute insufficiency.”
The Vice-Chancellor commended the effort of the Director of CRET, Professor Olurinde Lafe, a globally acclaimed renewable energy expert and scholar and his team for their effort in their short time of existence in improving the University’s effort in Renewable Energy.
He called on the whole University Community, especially Centres and Departments to continue to collaborate with CRET to make FUTA formidable in the Renewable Energy effort.
Experts, including staff and students of FUTA made suggestion to the Centre on how to improve on energy issue, particularly in imputing Renewable Energy Components in ongoing new building projects to reduce dependency on unavailable power.
An international expert in Renewable Energy, Professor Babatunde Obilana warned against unfavourable government policies that may thwart Renewable Energy effort. He also called for adequate research, training and retraining in Renewable Energy to strengthen the knowledge base of experts in the sector.
Obilana also called on the Centre for Research and Development (CERAD), and other Departments to work closely with CRET to embark on research that will be beneficial to FUTA and the whole country.