Nigeria and key steps in the energy transition

Nigeria and key steps in the energy transition

Since the discovery of crude in late 1956, Nigeria has depended solely on fossil fuel extraction for the bulk of its revenue earnings as indigenous funding source for development. Over the decades there has been much talk about economic diversification but no commensurate actions taken to realise it. As the country foot drags on this important economic transition, a more important movement has come into play. This is the energy transition. 


Energy transition is the bedrock of humanity’s response to the challenge of climate change. What does this mean? In order to save the planet, the science of climate change agrees on the need to explore other sources of energy that will not cause harm to the planet. It refers to the shift from using fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas) as the primary sources of energy to more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives. This transition involves adopting renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal power, along with improvements in energy efficiency and changes in energy consumption patterns. The goal of the energy transition is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate climate change and ensure a more sustainable energy supply for the future.


In Nigeria, adopting energy transition involves a variety of thematic shifts towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Some of these shifts are outlined below:


  1. Promote Renewable Energy: The government through policy should mobilise  the private and public sectors to invest in solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal projects to diversify the energy mix and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.


  1. Policy Reforms: The Nigerian government should implement policies that support renewable energy development, such as feed-in tariffs, tax incentives, and renewable energy targets.


  1. Invest in Infrastructure: The Nigerian government and the private sector should build necessary infrastructures for renewable energy generation and distribution, including solar farms, wind turbines, and transmission lines.


  1. Energy Efficiency: The Nigerian government should implement energy efficiency measures across the public and private sectors, from industries to buildings and transportation, to reduce fossil-based energy demand.


  1. Electrification of Transport: The government should mobilise finance from both the public and private stakeholders to  encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by providing incentives for EV purchases and developing charging infrastructures.


  1. Decentralised Energy Systems: The private and public sector should invest in microgrids and off-grid solutions to provide electricity to remote and underserved areas.


  1. Capacity Building: Public and private sectors  should provide training for  skilled workforce in renewable energy technologies, maintenance, and operation.


  1. Research and Innovation: It is both the responsibility of the Nigerian government as well as private stakeholders to support research and development in renewable energy technologies and energy storage solutions that are suitable for Nigeria's climate and conditions.


  1. Public Awareness: There should be a high public awareness in both the private and public sectors on the benefits of renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainable practices.


  1. Partnerships: The Nigerian government should foster and encourage collaborations with international organisations, development agencies, public, and private sector partners to leverage expertise and funding, and also promote the development of local industries for the manufacturing and supply of renewable energy.


  1. Regulatory Framework: The Nigerian government and renewable energy stakeholders  should also develop a clear regulatory framework for renewable energy projects, ensuring streamlined processes for approvals and investments.


  1. Long-Term Planning: The Nigerian government, and renewable energy stakeholders should create a comprehensive energy transition plan that outlines goals, milestones, and strategies for achieving a sustainable energy future.


  1. Green Finance: The Nigerian government should establish mechanisms for financing renewable energy projects such as green bonds and sustainable investment funds.


  1. Circular Economy: The integration of circular economy principles into energy production and consumption, promoting resource efficiency and waste reduction, has become a required step.


Nigeria's energy transition journey requires a holistic approach, involving collaboration between government, industry, academia, and civil society organisations. By focusing on these strategies, Nigeria can gradually shift its energy landscape towards sustainability and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.

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