Developing countries are achieving low-cost emissions reductions through renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) projects and initiatives. The focus of this report is to evaluate the impact of these projects implemented between 2005 and 2016 in terms of measurable greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)’ reductions to help close the emissions gap needed to meet the 2°C climate goal.
As an example, in Lagos, and in many other Nigerian cities, private companies are piloting new approaches to make solar energy more accessible and affordable. A partnership between a solar start-up and local telecommunications provider has brought solar power to 50,000 homes, clinics, schools, and businesses benefiting more than 250,000 people and creating 450 new jobs.
Policy Instrument for Renewable Energy in Nigeria
Nigeria adopted a tendering system for projects larger than 30 Mega Watts (MW) to supplement its Feed-in Tariff (FIT) policy.
Scaling up the Solar Market in Nigeria
Solar companies are piloting innovative ways of making solar energy accessible and affordable, meeting Nigeria’s enormous market and the vast need for energy. Currently, Nigeria’s 7,500 MW power supply lags behind the estimated 170,000 MW demand, costing the country 2-4% of its annual GDP, slowing economic growth, jobs, and investment. Even though small and medium scale enterprises make up 9 out of 10 Nigerian businesses and contributes over 46% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP), these businesses spend about 3.5 trillion Naira each year on generator fuel. To solve this, private companies are making solar energy accessible and affordable. This helps to meet the vast demand for reliable energy access across Nigeria’s cities.
The MTN mobile electricity has brought solar power to about 50,000 homes, clinics, schools, and businesses which is benefitting over 250,000 people. In addition, it has created about 450 jobs in Nigeria. The aim of the mobile electricity is to reach about 10 million installations by 2022. Also, Solynta, a solar energy company in Lagos, Nigeria has helped reduced business fuel costs by at least 75%.
Solar energy’s lower costs could unleash additional economic development in Nigeria. By illustrating the benefits of solar power to customers, investors, and the national government, companies have helped accelerate its uptake. Education and outreach efforts have introduced solar systems to new audiences. Demonstration projects have overcome reputational challenges tied to poorly constructed solar options in earlier markets.
Demonstrating the demand for solar energy is also unlocking urgently needed finance. Sixteen companies, supported by £2 million from the Solar Nigeria Programme, delivered small solar light and power systems to 170,000 Nigerian households during 2016 alone. By 2020, the initiative aims to reach 5 million homes. In addition to partnerships with philanthropic agencies and impact investors, solar companies are increasingly attracting their own investment. Lumos Global, for instance, raised a record US $90 million in 2016, a hopeful signal that solar companies will continue accelerating the delivery of clean, reliable and renewable energy.
Meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate goals will require an immediate and worldwide shift toward decarbonizing human activities. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global emissions will have to peak in the next few years and then rapidly decline over the following three decades, approaching zero by 2050, if the world is to have a likely chance of limiting warming in line with the 1.5°C or 2°C goals established in the Paris Agreement.
The annual emissions gap, however, is growing and will equal 11–19 Gigaton of Carbon dioxide emission (GtCO2e) by 2030 unless efforts to reduce emissions dramatically ramp up. Timing is crucial, as the global carbon budget shrinks each year and the window of opportunity for achieving our shared climate goals narrows. Emissions benchmarks that correspond with 1.5°C or 2°C scenarios are moving targets, and if the world misses them in the short term, climate trajectories would worsen and long-term goals would become more difficult to meet.
Exercepts for this content was taken from the 2017 report on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Developing Countries by United Nations Environment Programme. UN Environment promotes environmentally sound practices globally and in its own activities. Download the full report here.