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September 2, 2022

Nigeria launches energy transition plan, including doubling of gas

The country seeks international funding of $10bn to jumpstart its energy transition.

By Smruthi Nadig

Nigeria seeks international funders for a $10bn jumpstart to its energy transition plan, which includes solar expansion and a doubling of gas power generation. 

The Nigerian Government aspires to provide universal access to electricity, and transition to cleaner energy sources. In doing so, it hopes to raise 100 million people out of poverty by 2030.

By then, the mission aims to provide electricity to almost 90 million people without power while putting the country on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2060. 

Nigeria is counting on gas as a transition fuel to provide electricity.  It estimates the cost at $410 billion by 2060.

Last Wednesday, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Nigerian Energy Transition Implementation Working Group went to the United States to seek worldwide partnerships and support for the programme, highlighting the government’s determination to pivot to the global direction.

Osinbajo said: “The plan recognises the role of natural gas in the short term to facilitate the establishment of this low energy capacity and address the nation’s clean cooking deficit in the form of LPG. It also envisions vibrant industries powered by low carbon technologies, streets lined with electric vehicles, and livelihoods enabled by sufficient and clean energy.”

The strategy aims to generate 340,000 work opportunities by 2030 and 840,000 by 2060. The energy sector of Nigeria continues to expand, increasing its contribution to the nation’s socio-economic development.

Even before the launch of this plan, significant stakeholders in the sector predicted that Nigeria is well positioned to gain from the energy transition regime due to the abundance of natural fossil fuels and renewable solar energy available in the country.

Osagie Okunbor, country chair of Shell, said: “Nigeria has gas in abundance, around 202 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves and about 600 trillion cubic feet of unproven reserves. Harnessing these vast gas resources, and on time too, is key in the next decade of Nigeria’s existence.”

Furthermore, he stated that an intentional expansion of the off-grid power and renewables industry, utilising foreign financial support and technology transfer, is another path that could be pursued if the country wishes to have a successful energy transformation.

The proposal was published on a “purpose-built” website and launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last week during an online event sponsored by Sustainable Energy For All, a sustainability advocacy group. 

International development charity The Rockefeller Foundation and the sustainability advocacy group Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet supplied the funds for the event.

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