What d oes the Energy Transition mean for Niger ia?
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Nigeria's energy transition represents the country’s effort to shift towards more sustainable and cleaner energy sources, to become carbon neutral by 2060. This transformation provides huge investment opportunities in areas such as solar energy, hydrogen, and electric vehicles. However, the growing demand for transitioning to more sustainable energy sources needs a review of existing energy system governance structures.

What is Energy Transition?

According to S&P Global, the term "energy transition" refers to the global energy sector's shift from fossil-based energy production and consumption systems like oil, natural gas, and coal to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries. According to NASA, the planet's average temperature was 1.02°C higher in 2020 than it was between 1950 and 1980. The scientific community agrees that this is due to human-caused releases of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, particularly since the Industrial Revolution.

At the 21st United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, an international agreement was reached to keep global warming by the end of this century below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, preferably lowering it to 1.5°C. At COP26 held in Glasgow, Nigeria pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.

Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP)

Following the Paris Agreement, Nigeria submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2015 and a revised version in 2021. An NDC is a country’s target to help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Each country is required to submit its NDC and update it every five years. According to the World Economic Forum, Nigeria ranks 108th out of 120 nations on the Energy Transition Index (ETI). The ETI is a tool for the global energy community to monitor the performance of energy systems at the national level. Over the last decade, Nigeria's overall ETI score has increased by three percent, but system performance scores have decreased by one percent.

In August 2022, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) released its Energy Transition Plan (ETP) based on the Paris Agreement. The plan aims to address both energy poverty and climate change problems. The ETP outlines the energy transition pathways in major sectors of the country’s economy, which account for 65 percent of total emissions. The ETP is primarily placed on the following key objectives:

  • To eradicate poverty for over 100 million people through an increase in the standard of living.
  • To drive sustainable economic growth in key domestic commercial sectors.
  • To provide universal electricity access to the entire population.
  • To mobilize investments and private sector participation by creating significant market opportunities in the energy transition process.

Current Emissions in Nigeria’s Major Sectors

According to Worldometer, Carbon emissions from Nigeria's power sector were estimated to be 82.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2016. According to a 2023 report from Statista, the country's biggest volume of emissions from power generation occurred in 2014 when over 12.8 million metric tons of CO2 was measured. Nigeria's ETP intends to make major industries, including transportation, manufacturing, power, cooking, and oil and gas, carbon neutral by 2060.

S/N Sector Emissions breakdown
1 Power Represents around 27 percent of in-scope emissions and includes power generation, both on and off-grid
2 Oil and Gas Represents about 11% of in-scope emissions
3 Industry Represents about 16% of in-scope emissions.
4 Transport Represent about 24% of in-scope emissions.
5 Cooking Represents about 22% of in-scope emissions


Benefits of the Energy Transition

A seamless energy transition that drops net carbon emissions to zero by the middle of the century would provide numerous advantages including:

  • Improved energy security, especially for unserved and underserved populations.
  • Lower carbon emissions.
  • Improving health by reducing pollution.
  • Reduced dependence on energy imports.
  • Reduced economic response to fluctuations in energy prices.
  • Improved energy efficiency.
  • New opportunities for companies in the region.
  • Local job creation.

Challenges of Energy Transition

Energy transition in Nigeria faces a lot of challenges despite government and non-governmental efforts. The challenges include:

  1. Financing: The energy transition requires significant capital outlays that may be beyond the capabilities of both the public and domestic private sectors.
  2. Policy and regulation: The complex and widespread legislative and regulatory structure of Nigeria's energy sector creates uncertainty and inconsistency for investors and operators.
  3. Human capital: The energy transition needs experienced and capable human resources across the public and private sectors to develop, implement, and manage energy projects and programs.
  4. Public awareness and acceptance: The public understanding and acceptance of renewable energy technologies in the country are relatively poor due to a lack of information, education, and communication. Nigeria must engage and empower its population, particularly the youth, women, and other marginalized groups, to increase awareness of the need for the energy transition.


Nigeria's energy transition presents major investment prospects, including building and expanding industries for solar, hydrogen, and electric vehicles, as well as exploiting its vast natural gas resources for economic development. The energy revolution provides an opportunity to ease Nigeria's petroleum dependence. For Nigeria, this means diversification, and for developing partners, it mostly concerns the de-fossilization of energy. Both share the same goal: to transition away from fossil fuels.


Energy transitioning within Nigeria stands to bring huge investment and climate funding to boost development and push civilization to its peak in the coming decades. Nigeria's government has implemented plans and policies like the ETP to ease the energy market’s shift to more renewable and energy-efficient practices. The ETP aims to address both energy poverty and climate change issues in the country by reducing greenhouse emissions from major sectors such as oil and gas, cooking, transportation, and power.



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