The country of Nigeria is in an interesting situation. The country has a multitude of energy resources available to them, but nearly 40 percent of the population lacks access to electricity. Roughly 70 percent of citizens use firewood for essential needs, such as cooking. That is a dangerous statistic since 93,000 Nigerian residents die due to excess smoke inhalation every year.

The government’s approach to the problem is to focus on renewable resources, such as natural gas power plants or off-grid solar PV systems. They turn solar energy into electricity in more rural environments. The changes are due to studies from the Energy Commission of Nigeria. The issue is how to provide more energy to residents while keeping pollution down. Utilizing renewable energy and harnessing the excess uranium ore for nuclear energy can meet energy demands. These are four methods Nigeria can utilize to capitalize on energy resources.

New technology

Energy-efficient stoves are safer for the home, but cost more than firewood stoves. Many residents don’t know how energy efficiency works or how it can benefit them. As a result, the country needs to better educate its citizens, a main initiative the Better Life Program focuses on.

Building standards

An increase in solar PV systems can cut energy consumption if implemented in both residential and commercial buildings. Offering incentives to use the technology in buildings can encourage owners to make energy-conscious changes.

Focus on the industrial sector

The industrial sector can make small changes such as keeping lights off and increasing the air conditioner temperature can drastically reduce energy demands. Companies can also utilize the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund to access capital improvement funds.

Energy and transportation

Encouraging citizens to utilize public transportation would drastically cut energy demand as well. Another way to reduce demand is to maximize natural gas, biofuels, or electricity to fuel cars compared to petrol fuels. Incentives such as eliminating parking restrictions or lowering vehicle taxes can encourage consumers to turn to these technologies.

Nigeria continues to make progress with the Renewable Energy Program to fund projects such as increasing biofuel production and establishing a power plant in Adamawa state. The programs will only be effective if the government follows through since they’re currently in the introductory stages. With continued improvements, Nigeria can meet their energy demands and accessibility.