Nigeria’s Energy Transition: Navigating Climate Challenges Toward a Sustainable Future

In the complex tapestry of global energy dynamics, the intertwining challenges of climate change and local air pollution cast a shadow over economies and ecosystems. While nations like China and India grapple with immediate concerns of air quality, Nigeria and its African counterparts confront the urgent need for an energy transition amid environmental degradation.

Nigeria’s Energy Dilemma

Nigeria, where economic growth hinges on surging energy demands, finds itself at a crossroads. Fossil fuels dominate the nation’s energy landscape, giving rise to both air pollution and carbon emissions. The imperative for sustainability beckons, urging a departure from traditional energy sources toward cleaner and more efficient alternatives.

Global Imperatives and Paris Climate Goals

Globally, fossil fuel-based energy accounts for a staggering two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. The ambitious Paris Climate Agreement sets targets to limit global warming, compelling a radical overhaul of energy systems. For African economies like Nigeria, the challenge is formidable, requiring an 85% reduction in carbon intensity by 2050—an uphill battle translating to over 70% less CO2 emissions compared to the status quo.

Renewable Energy and Efficiency: Cornerstones of Transition

The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) REmap Case outlines a roadmap pivotal for achieving these monumental reductions. Emphasizing heightened energy efficiency and a substantial surge in renewable energy adoption, these measures emerge as linchpins in Nigeria’s context where energy demand escalates.

According to the REmap Case, embracing renewable energy and efficiency measures could potentially achieve a staggering 94% of the necessary emissions reductions by 2050. The residual 6% encompasses strategies like fossil fuel switching, nuclear energy, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Nigeria’s Pledge to Transition

In the envisioned transition outlined by the REmap Case, the power sector in Nigeria emerges as a major player, contributing over 10 Gt to the targeted 25 Gt emissions reduction by 2050. As a member of the G20, Nigeria plays a crucial role in this global paradigm shift. The share of renewable energy in Nigeria’s primary energy supply is anticipated to soar from 14% in 2015 to an impressive 63% in 2050.

This transition signifies a seismic shift from an 86% fossil fuel dominance to a 37% share, marking a decisive move towards a sustainable energy mix. Astonishingly, this transformation unfolds while maintaining nearly constant energy use between 2015 and 2050, even as economic activity triples. Nigeria’s commitment to this journey encapsulates not only an environmental imperative but also a strategic investment in a resilient and sustainable future.


  • Samson Adeyemo

    An experienced broadcast and print media journalist with nose for news and proven track records of success without compromising objectivity.

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