The potentials of renewable energy for sustainable development a reflection on the basis of church’s energy ethics. catholic diocese of warri electricity storage cost per kwh


luxury. electricity storage costs Only a few could afford generators and have their houses powered. I lived in a public compound, and only a few of my neighbours could afford a generator, but my family could not. Aside from our inability to power our house, the experience of having to live in the same little compound with those who could was both ridiculous and unjust. The generator sets produce fumes, known as carbon monoxide, which makes the environment very uncomfortable and the air unbreathable and unhealthy for those who are exposed to them. The sets are also known for the loud grating sound they produce. But, each time my neighbours switched on their generator sets, they locked up their doors and windows. The electric fans or air conditioning in the house were on full blast and the shut doors and windows kept both noise and noxious gases out. Meanwhile, just a few feet ahead was my house. We had to keep our doors and windows open to have our apartment ventilated. electricity dance moms full episode Inadvertently, the fumes the generators released found space in our apartment. And due to the noise of the generators, we could not communicate without having to scream. But, I, or any other, dared not complain. Anyone who did this would be labeled ‘jealous and unhappy’.

So, while they ‘enjoyed’ electricity, we suffered the dire consequences of the fossil fuels they burned. electricity names superheroes This is not an experience particular to me or my family; it was also the experience of others living in the same compound, in other compounds, and indeed the length and breadth of Nigeria. Any form of environmental degradation or plundering constitutes an act of injustice. The worst sufferers of this injustice are not usually the ones who cause it, but the poor. i In truth, any act of injustice or cruelty towards any creature is injustice to all creatures, because there are no two separate communities – human and natural – but one earth community. The earth is a community of subjects, not a collection of objects. electricity dance moms episode Nothing in the earth is indifferent to man, as Pope Francis taught: everything is connected.

The Church does not stand aside in any matter that has the human person as the subject. Considering the limited and unguaranteed supply of oil and gas, and more importantly, the harm fossil fuels cause to the environment, the Church reflects on the energy crisis and consequently develops an energy ethics. For some, the Church has no business with the source of power generation or provision. Energy for these people is exclusively a technological and economic issue. However, the teaching of the Catholic Church on energy is predicated on the immense dignity of the human person created in the image of God, exalted a little less than the angels and crowned with glory and honor.

iv Every human person possesses a dignity which is inalienable and so deserves the best human and humane conditions (energy included) to realize and fulfill one’s destiny. All social life is an expression of its unmistakable protagonist – the human person – who is not merely the object of social life but rather, its origin, subject, foundation and goal. In other words, the Church’s teaching on renewable energy is predicated on the ideal that the individual human person is the foundation, the cause and the end of every social institution.

v .Therefore, every expression of society must be directed towards the human person. vi And so, the gamut of the Church’s social teachings, in general and on energy in particular, develops from the principle that affirms the inviolable dignity of the human person. Provision of energy is an important dimension to upholding this dignity. gas engine efficiency A situation where only a few people have access to energy sources, for example my experience growing up in Kaduna where some suffered the harmful effect of fossil fuels burned by others, is a violation of this supposed inalienable dignity. Furthermore, the Church’s energy ethics is based on the principle of common good by which every person is provided with all circumstances of their social life which allow them both as groups and as individuals to attain more fully and freely their own perfection.vii The church argues that there is a moral imperative to replace highly polluting fossil fuels (which do not constitute the common good) with widely accessible sources of renewable energy and that renewable energy will guarantee sustainable energy provision for all.

already experiencing some of these impacts in Nigeria. gas tax in texas Such a situation does not permit for the conditions of social life that will allow men and women to realize fully and freely their own perfection. So, fossil fuels fall short of the criterion of common good. The Church’s teaching on renewable energy is also based on the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of men and women who by divine imperative must relate in justice, love and freedom, or what is referred to as solidarity by Pope St. John Paul II. viii If all men and women realize their common origin and interdependence, they will be more committed to the common good and justice. If my neighbour in Kaduna had truly understood this principle of solidarity, and had used energy sources such as solar or wind, I would still not have had power in my apartment, but I would not have suffered the inconvenience and toxicity of the noise and fumes of gasoline powered generators. electricity grid australia This is the advantage of renewable energy.

environment. Laudato Si of Pope Francis makes it abundantly clear when it says, “we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and of the poor.” ix The document makes a plethora of references to the suffering of the poor as a result of man’s irresponsible use and exploitation of God’s earth. Overdependence on fossil fuels is a case of irresponsible use of resources.

Research shows that fossil fuels cannot guarantee sustainable development. Laudato Si points out the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the environment. x The greatest sufferers of health hazards caused by exposure to atmospheric pollutants are the poor, xi just as the greatest sufferers of lack of power supply (electricity) are also the poor. It is apt and expected therefore that the Church, always sensitive and committed to the preferential option for the poor, will not be indifferent to the plight of the poor, hence the Church’s teaching and insistence on renewable energy.

Considering this and the danger posed by the use of fossil fuels, alternative forms of energy will be needed to fuel industrial production and transportation. A number of energy alternatives are available: one reasonable solution combines conservation strategies with the increased use of solar energy. The price of solar energy relative to traditional fuels has steadily dropped, and if environmental concerns are factored into the cost, solar power would already be significantly cheaper. electricity khan academy Solar panels are becoming popular but again, only the rich can afford them. But for any energy to guarantee sustainable development, it has to be available, reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly.

Obviously, fossil fuels, the chief source of energy in Nigeria for instance, fall short of these requisites. It is high time for sustainable energy sources to be explored. Solar radiation is the largest energy flow entering the terrestrial ecosystem. Nigeria, like many sub-Saharan African States, lies within a high sunshine belt and possesses enormous potential for solar energy. Apparently, from the available facts and data, it is possible to generate annually over one hundred times the current grid electricity consumption level in Nigeria from solar radiation, without having to jeopardize the ecosystem or deplete the source.

In other words, if renewable energy sources such as solar are invested in, the country would achieve affordable and sustainable energy. For this to be realized, the words of Pope Francis holds sway: “taking advantage of abundant solar energy will require the establishment of mechanisms and subsidies which allow developing countries access to technology transfer, technical assistance and financial resources but in a way which respects their concrete situations since the compatibility of infrastructure with the context for which they have been designed is not always adequately assessed.” xii The church holds that many economic problems have their foundations in political decisions such that, if there is to be any meaningful development and justice, those who are responsible for ensuring a more human life for others must change their attitude of selfishness. It must change to that of a relationship and solidarity with everybody and even nature itself, in view of the common good, xiii or as Pope Paul VI expressed it, for the full development of both the whole individual and all people. xiv