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Study of Nigeria's energy transition plan

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By Promise Nwogu

· 5 min read

Climate change is one of the Human greatest challenges and solving it will require a collective effort from individuals and countries. As energy-related emission is the major contributor to climate change switching to renewables looks like the most logical thing to do but is not that simple as many factors need to be put into consideration. Many energy professionals agree with the proposition of transitioning to renewables but different opinions exist on the pace and the pathway for each country. Countries differ in energy access, natural resources and economic power. While some countries are 100% electrified, others still loom in the darkness. It now becomes imperative for countries to create a path that will not only focus on reducing their carbon footprint but will also have a strong root in ending energy poverty and bringing its people out of economic poverty.

Nigeria with the highest un-electrified population in the world launched its energy transition plan which aims to solve the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change.

This article aims to study the transition plan across the 5 key sectors; Power, Cooking, Oil and Gas, Transport and Industry in which the Energy transition plan aims to reduce emissions.

The Key objectives of the Transition plan are as follows

  • Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty and driving economic growth
  • Bringing modern energy services to the full population
  • Managing the expected long-term job loss in the oil sector due to the reduced global fossil-fuel demand
  • Playing a leadership role for Africa by promoting a fair, inclusive and equitable energy transition in Africa that will include Gas as a “transitionary fuel”
  • Streamlining existing and new government-related energy transition initiatives


Nigeria’s power sector has been on the decline for years now. In 2022 alone the grid has collapsed up to 7 times. No doubt it emits the highest as businesses and citizen becomes Prosumers of energy relying on diesel generators for power. This sector contributes 27% of in-scope emissions and emitted 48Mt of CO2 making it the highest emitter among the 5 sectors considered.

The decarbonisation of this sector is in eliminating diesel generators and the expansion of generation capacity using gas as a baseload fuel. In addition, decentralized systems will also play a path as we see a growth in the deployment of renewables in the form of mini-grid


This sector comes second on emissions, emitting 43Mt CO2 representing 24% of in-scope emissions as 100% of cars on Nigeria’s roads in 2020 were diesel/gasoline combustion cars. The plan proposes emission reduction through the use of low-emissions transportation technology and mode switching (passenger car to electric public transport). Deployment of biofuels in the short term and 100% EV in the long term.

Oil and Gas

This sector emits 20MT of CO2 representing 11% of in-scope emissions, emission from this sector is attributed to fugitives, upstream energy consumption (/fuel use), venting and flaring. The decarbonisation strategy for this sector includes improving flaring efficiency, exporting/repurposing gas and applying Carbon capture Utilizing and storage in the long term.


This sector contributes 19MT of CO2, representing 22% of in-scope emissions. The decarbonisation strategy here is a combination of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the short term and Electric Stoves in the long term.


This sector contributes 29MT of CO2, representing 16% of in-scope emissions. Cement Production, ammonia and Industrial heating contribute 93% of the energy-related emission from industry in Nigeria. The decarbonisation strategy is the substitution of clinker with calcined clay in the short term and the application of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage(BECCS) in the long term in cement production. Decarbonising Ammonia production will require replacing grey hydrogen with blue hydrogen in the short term and green hydrogen in the long term. Industry heating will require shifting to zero-emission technologies, electric boilers and solar boilers for the short term and together with heat pumps in the long term.


The energy transition requires funding, according to the plan Nigeria will need $1.9 trillion to reach Net Zero by 2060, which includes $410 billion more than usual spending. This additional cost amounts to about $10 billion per year.


An Energy Transition Implementation Working Group(ETWG) Chaired by H.E Vice President Yemi Osibanjo SAN and comprise many several Key ministers has been sent up to ensure the Implementation of the transition plan. Sustainable Energy for All(SEforALL) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet(GEAPP) are supporting the working group through a dedicated secretariat, The Nigeria Energy Transition Office(ETO) and have the following objectives

  • Secure at least a $10 billion financing commitment to Kick start the implementation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition plan by COP27
  • Secure 3-5 agreements with Original Equipment Manufacturers(OEMs) to begin the local manufacturing/assembly of key technologies such as electric vehicles and decentralized solar systems by 2025
  • Secure 1-2 agreements for skills and knowledge transfer with private sector leaders, research institutions and other partners, with an immediate focus on upskilling labour for the power and cooking sector.
  • Play a leadership role for Africa by promoting a fair, inclusive and equitable transition in Africa that will include Gas as a “transition fuel”, ending energy poverty and supporting industrialization
  • Streamline existing and new government-related energy transition initiatives to align with the energy transition plan and Net zero by 2060 commitment.

Winners in the Transition Plan

  1. Solar Mini-grid showed resilient as it predicated to play a huge part in the transition plan of the country to net zero by 2060
  1. EV takes the top spot in helping decarbonize the Country’s transport sector as it accounts for 60% of all vehicles by 2050
  1. Gas will play a crucial role in the transition plan, especially in the cooking and power sectors.


Nigeria's Energy Transition plan is a bold statement demonstrating her commitment to climate action and UN climate goals. While this is laudable by the Federal Government of Nigeria, achieving this plan hinges on its ability to externally raise the needed funds. This single factor puts a big question mark on achieving this plan. Developed nations have failed in their previous promise of a $100bn Climate Finance, coupled with the energy crises and inflation most are facing relying on them for funds looks like a failed strategy to me. If Nigeria is to achieve the plan, then it must look internally to raise the annual $10bn needed for this to happen or this might just be another brilliant plan that never comes to fruition.

Future Thought Leaders is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of rising Energy & Sustainability writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Promise Nwogu is a fellow of the Student Energy leaders fellowship and one of the challenge winners of "how to change the world". He is also a recent graduate of petroleum engineering from the Federal University of Technology Owerri, who took interest in renewable energy after seeing the impacts it's making in the lives of unserved and underserved communities.

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