Nearly 60 per cent of Nigeria’s energy demand in 2050 can be met with renewable energy sources, saving 40 per cent in natural gas and 65 per cent in oil needs at the same time, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
With a growing population and a range of socioeconomic challenges, Nigeria requires sustainable energy sources to meet the growing needs for all the sectors of its economy and achieve universal access to modern energy services.
Renewable Energy Roadmap for Nigeria, developed in collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria, demonstrates how renewable energy technologies are key to achieving a sustainable energy mix and meeting the country’s growing needs.
“By using its abundant, untapped renewables”, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “Nigeria can provide sustainable energy for all its citizens in a cost-effective manner. Nigeria has a unique opportunity to develop a sustainable energy system based on renewables that support socioeconomic recovery and development, while addressing climate challenges and accomplishing energy security.”
Dr. Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora, Nigeria’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation added: “The highly distributed institutional structure of the energy sector in Nigeria means that coordination of policies will be essential to unlocking integrated energy transition planning and ensuring its success. A cross cutting agency or body tasked with doing so would be helpful in building consensus and developing a coherent plan which in turn would allow for the scaling up of renewable energy to meet the needs across the Nigerian energy sector.”
The share of primary energy requirements met with renewable energy can reach 47 per cent by 2030 and 57 per cent by 2050, according to IRENA’s report. Electrification will play a significant role in achieving higher renewable energy shares with electricity in final energy use nearly doubling by 2050.
Investment in renewables will be more cost-effective than the conventional pathway. IRENA’s Energy Transition Scenario has lower investment costs than planned policies, 1.22 trillion USD compared to 1.24 trillion USD respectively. This corresponds to 35 billion USD versus 36 billion USD per year respectively.
Advancing the energy transition requires a shift and scaling-up of investments in the short-term to avoid locked in fossil fuel infrastructure investments with long lifetimes such as natural gas pipelines. In 2050, significantly less use of natural gas and oil compared to planned policies has profound implications for infrastructure investment in fossil fuels, increasing the risk of stranded assets.
Policies for the accelerated deployment of renewables are needed to unlock the report’s benefits. Policy coordination is essential to unlocking successful integrated energy transition planning in Nigeria.