Legal Informer: Renewable Energy in Nigeria
Renewable energy is energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than
they are consumed. Generating renewable energy creates far lower emissions than burning fossil
fuels. Common sources of renewable energy are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy,
hydropower, ocean energy, and bioenergy. The world, over the years, has moved away from nonrenewable sources of energy, to renewable sources of energy to provide for their needs. This
deliberate switch to a more sustainable energy system is the key to a de-carbonization.
In 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement was entered into by world nations. The Agreement aims at
substantially reducing global greenhouse emissions to limit the global temperature increase in this
century to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels while pursuing efforts to limit the increase
further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Agreement further aims to provide financing to developing
countries to mitigate climate change, strengthen resilience and enhance abilities to adapt to climate
In Nigeria, electricity generation began in 1896 and currently, the county has 12,522MW on
installed generation capacity, which comprises 22 gas-fired power plants and 3 hydroelectric power
plants. This means the country largely depends on natural gas for energy supply. This is anticipated
as the country has a large crude oil reserve and therefore has access to a large volume of natural gas.
However, the shift to renewable energy is a result of the harmful effects of pollution and greenhouse gases. Various countries have begun to explore clean energy sources to drive development and growth.
Nigeria, particularly, already features clean energy sources on its grid, i.e. the hydroelectric power
plants. However, in a bid to promote more sustainable investment in the energy sector, Nigeria has
formulated legal and regulatory policies towards the development of the renewable energy sector.
Renewable energy law is a particular kind of energy law which relates to the transactional legal and
policy issues that surround the development, implementation, and commercialization of renewable
sources of energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal and tidal.
The Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 (EPSRA) primarily regulates Nigeria’s electricity sector. The Act established the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The NERC as the apex regulatory body is to makes rules, and policies relating to the electricity sector. The REA on the other hand is to expand the main grid and promote renewable energy power generation. Since the establishment of these two bodies, the Federal Executive council has approved the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy
(NREEEP). The NREEP aim at making renewable energy and energy efficiency crucial to national
development goals. Further, the dependence on oil and gas can be reduced through the diversification of the nation’s energy resources.
Also, the NERC has formulated Regulations on Feed-In-Tariff for Renewable Energy Sourced
Electricity in Nigeria (REFIT) and the Mini-Grid Regulations. More recently, the Energy Commission of Nigeria has issued a National Energy Policy (NEP). The NEP aims at ensuring the development of the nation’s energy resources. The NEP covers all energy resources available in the country. The Nigerian government has also incentivized investors to increase participation in renewable energy by providing loan to direct and indirect loans to qualifying projects. In conclusion, it is commendable that Nigeria has joined other nations of the world by actively implementing policies to reduce carbon emissions. Although the renewable energy resources of Nigeria remain largely untapped, the commitment of both the national and international bodies in the sector is set to soon change the narrative.
United Nations: What is renewable energy?
United Nations: The Paris Agreement.
Ministry of Power, Federal Republic of Nigeria, The National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy. natonal_renewable_energy_and_energy_efficiency_policy.pdf