Nigeria needs to upgrade its power infrastructure, particularly in terms of transmission and distribution, by combining grid and mini-grid technologies in a strategic way. To meet these targets, the country will need an additional $410 billion in investment above and above normal spending.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the announcement in a statement released after The Atlantic Council hosted a virtual discussion on climate finance titled “Climate Finance for a Just, Equitable Energy Transition for Africa.”
The Federal Government’s immediate objective, according to the statement, is to create 20 million jobs, rebuild industries, and add more than 200 gigawatts of new electricity capacity, primarily utility-scale solar, by 2060.
He said, “Nigeria will require huge investments in new infrastructure. We’re going to build more roads, ports, industrial parks, and especially power systems. For every Nigerian to consume the Modern Energy Minimum of 1,000 kilowatt hours per year by 2050 would require a 15-fold increase in our national power generation.
“We will need to upgrade our power infrastructure, especially for transmission and distribution, using a strategic mix of grid and mini grid systems. To be successful we will need partners. The majority of investment in our energy transition will come from our own national resources. But we estimate we need an additional $410 billion above business-as-usual investment to meet our goals.
“If the global energy transition is going to become reality, if we are truly, in this climate crisis together, then the priorities of African nations cannot be sidelined. Climate justice must include far greater support for countries with the greatest needs and who contribute the least to global emissions.
“It must include investments, not only to mitigate carbon emissions but also to ensure that developing countries can adapt to the impacts of climate change caused by the rich polluting nations. Climate justice must include ending energy poverty. Anything else would be the opposite of justice.”
Speaking to the issue of a just and equitable transition for Africa and others, the VP said “what is a just transition for countries with no coal and deep energy poverty? A Just Energy Transition means something very different for every other African country, including my own country, Nigeria. For us, a Just Transition means a lot more energy, not less.”
He noted that “climate justice must include ending global energy poverty. Every person on the planet deserves to have modern energy. Every person deserves a job. All modern economies require abundant affordable and reliable energy.
“And with the impacts of climate change bearing down on us, every nation must have enough energy to build resilient infrastructure, deliver essential public services, and provide the cooling and air conditioning to withstand a warming planet. I’ll say this again: climate justice must include ending energy poverty.”
Prof. Osinbajo stated that “every nation must play its share in overcoming the dual challenges of global poverty and climate change” during the upcoming Conference of Parties, dubbed COP27, later this year in Egypt.
“Africa must be dedicated to resolving both of these crises because we are more affected than any other region by poverty and global warming.” We are unmistakable in our belief that Africa must be proactive, aggressive in our demands, and do a better job of making our concerns addressed. That’s what you’ll find in Egypt.”
Prof. Osinbajo also discussed the deployment of alternative technologies at the conference. “Every country must discover its own path to a low-carbon future,” he said. The EU’s decision to classify both gas and nuclear energy as green energy indicates that Europe recognizes that countries require a diverse range of options.
“The United States, too, has a long-term strategy that encompasses a variety of technologies to fulfill the demands of various areas around the country.” Africa, too, will chart its own course. Africa, too, will employ a variety of technology to fulfill the needs of its various countries.”