Barriers to Renewable Energy Development in Nigeria: And How to Overcome Them

Rosario Montella & Vera Domenica Giustino

Student thesis: Master thesis


Energy is the heart of development; hence generating a sustainable type of energy is among the primary focuses for developed nations, especially during the last decade. At the same time, the necessity of change towards renewable energy sources is even more crucial for the part of the world which cannot provide energy to their population and strongly relies on fossil fuels, increasing the climate change challenges for the whole world. In Nigeria, around 60 million people do not have access to electricity. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the second-largest economy in Africa and the 7th larger exporter of petroleum globally. At the same time, it is one of the most energy-poor countries in the world, which makes it the perfect candidate for our research on sustainable energy generation. We aim to understand what the barriers behind the underdevelopment of renewable energy technologies in the country are, despite its potential. As such, the guiding research question of our study is: "What are the barriers to renewable energy development in Nigeria and how to overcome them?" To identify the barriers, we conducted a macro analysis of the country using the PESTLE framework. Resultantly, we gained a wide picture of Nigeria. With the data gathered about the country, we could classify the relevant factors in a SWOT analysis and used the results -mainly threats and weaknesses- to define the barriers to the development of RETs in Nigeria. We identified and described these barriers using the framework provided by Painuly and his General Barrier Theory. Accordingly, we found that there are several barriers hindering the development of renewables in the country, which we divided into sections such as institutional, financial & economical, social and technological. Most importantly, we highlighted how the institutional environment is at the basis of most of the hindrances found in our analysis. To conclude, we ended our work with some advice for future research and a review of steps to improve the Nigerian situation in the renewable energy sector. For the former, we advised future researchers on how to build a thorough analysis using the different frameworks we adopted, with the addition of primary data and direct interaction with stakeholders. The latter included measures to facilitate the development of renewables in Nigeria, from incentivising investors to improving the population's awareness.

EducationsMSc in Accounting, Strategy and Control, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages138