Nigeria has a vast potential market for sustainable off-grid energy, but local and international practitioners are facing important challenges. For off-grid energy solutions to be scalable and sustainable over the long term, it is necessary to identify how they can best meet the needs and realities of local communities.
Researchers and practitioners have in the last decades attempted systematic evaluations and comparisons of lessons learned in order to develop ways of overcoming the challenges of delivering energy to people living in poverty. A number of frameworks have been proposed in order to enhance the understanding of not only the technical but also the economic and social factors that support or hinder the effectiveness of local off-grid initiatives, and their sustainability post-installation.
As part of the PeopleSuN project, Wuppertal Institute will advance the understanding of key factors affecting the delivery and long-term sustainability of different types of off-grid electricity solutions in Nigeria (e.g., mini-grids, standalone systems). This will result in a set of tools (guidelines, templates, good practice examples, etc.) that will support developers, communities, investors and financiers to better tailor energy delivery models to the long-term needs of the communities, and to ensure their sustainability. Ultimately the aim is to reduce the risk of failure or sub-optimal energy service delivery, and to maximise impacts across different levels of household and community needs. The toolbox will put a focus on finance and risk instruments and strategies, which are of particular relevance in Nigeria’s context. While the results will focus on Nigeria, they will contribute useful lessons to the design of off-grid energy interventions in comparable West African contexts and beyond.
The overall goal of the PeopleSuN research project is to improve access to reliable and sustainable energy for underserved regions in Nigeria. The project is coordinated by Reiner Lemoine Institute. Project partners include research organisations, civil society and off-grid public and private actors from Germany and Nigeria.