Energy has come to retain a very important place in the development of any country or region. Indeed, energy is fundamental to the fulfillment of basic individual and community needs such as lightning, transportation, provision of water, food, health and education. With the awareness of this importance of energy to a nation, and increase in the energy needs, energy security balanced with environmental sustainability is pivotal to any nation, Nigeria included. This is one of the reasons why both international and domestic governments are clamoring for renewable energy as opposed to the nonrenewable sources like fossil fuels which Nigeria is predominantly depending on. Despite the abundance of renewable resources in Nigeria, there is still a little share of it in the Nigeria’s energy mix. This is traced to a lack of an independent and cohesive legal framework for renewable energy in Nigeria.
This research uses doctrinal method to assess the current energy mix and utilization in Nigeria and its effects, showcasing the need for renewable energy. The research also used both foreign and domestic literatures, policies, Acts, and laws to analyse the policies, law and issues of renewable energy in Nigeria as well as international obligations required.
This research finds that the extant Nigeria’s energy mix has failed to meet the pressing energy demands and security in Nigeria. It also finds that despite the shortfall in energy supply in Nigeria, the current energy mix is not sustainable as they are not environment friendly. The research also finds that there exist inadequacies in both legislative and institutional framework for the energy sector in Nigeria such as duplicity and overlapping of laws, inchoate and obsolete penalties, and administrative bottlenecks. On the other hand, this research finds that there exist largely unexplored renewable energy resources in Nigeria, and there also exist limited scope and ineffectiveness of the extant renewable energy policies in the country. Furthermore, the research work exposes the digression of Nigeria from international obligations and standard as regards renewable energy. Thus with a view of promoting a legal framework for renewable energy in Nigeria, the research analyses the implementation of renewable energy in other jurisdictions, extracting invaluable lessons that the legal environment of Nigeria can inculcate.

This research concludes by recommending the enactment of an independent and cohesive legal framework in Nigeria for renewable energy. The key provision of the framework should be the promotion and implementation of renewable energy in Nigeria, and from which other salient issues can be brought to justice. 


Table of Content
Table of Statutes
Table of Policies
Table of cases
Table of Abbreviations

1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the problem
1.3       Literature Review
1.4       Aims and Objectives of the Study
1.5       Research Questions
1.6       Research Methodology
1.7       Scope of the study
1.8       Limitation of the Study
1.9       Justification of the Study

2.1       Introduction
2.2       Conceptual Clarifications
What is Energy?
Meaning of Renewable Energy
2.3       Energy Options and their Utilization in Nigeria
2.4       Legal and Institutional Framework for Electricity Power Sector in Nigeria
2.4.1    Legal framework for power sector The 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria Electricity Power Sector Reform Act Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission Act Nigeria Energy Commission Act The Criminal Code Oil in Navigable Waters Act The Petroleum Act Oil Pipelines Act Associated Gas Re-Injection Act           Environmental Impact Assessment Act                      Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions, etc) Act
2.4.2    Institutional Framework for Power Sector in Nigeria Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Energy Commission of Nigeria Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority Rural Electricity Agency (REA)
2.5 Why Renewable Energy Development in Nigeria?
2.5.1 Energy Needs and Security
2.5.2 Inadequacies of the current state of the Nigerian Energy Sector
2.5.3 Environmental Concerns and Need for Sustainable Development
2.5.4    Economic development
2.6       Conclusion

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Sources of Renewable Energy in Nigeria
3.2.1 Solar Energy
3.2.2 Wind Energy
3.2.3    Biomass Energy
3.2.4    Hydro Power Energy
3.2.5    Geo Thermal Energy
3.3       Renewable Energy Policy Development in Nigeria
3.3.1  National Electric Power Policy, 2001
3.3.2 National Energy Policy, 2003
3.3.3 Renewable Energy Masterplan Policy of 2005 and 2012
3.3.4    Biofuel Policy of 2007
3.3.5 Renewable Energy Policy  2010 and 2015
3.4        Obstacles to the development and integration of Renewable Energy into the Nigerian Energy Mix
3.4.1   Multiple Regulatory Institutions with overlapping roles
3.4.2   Cost of investment in renewable energy
3.4.3   Public awareness/ Bad Reputation
3.4.4   Cost of electricity
3.4.5   Lack of indigenous components and technical know-how
3.4.6   Lack of standardization
3.4.7   Change of Government
3.4.8   Lack of Policy Implementation
3.4.9   Inadequate Incentives for Renewable Energy Development
3.4.10 Project Implementation/Corruption
3.4.11 Lack of adequate funds

4.1       Introduction
4.2       Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy Development
4.2.1    What is sustainable Development?
4.2.2    Historical Origin of Sustainable Development: From Stockholm to Paris
4.2.3    Linkage between Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy Development
4.3       International Institutional Bodies for Renewable Energy
4.3.1    International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
4.3.2    Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Renewable Energy Law and Policy
4.3.3    ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)
4.4       Lessons From Other Jurisdictions on Renewable Energy Development
4.4.1    Brazil
4.4.2    China
4.4.3    Ghana
4.5       Conclusion

5.1       Summary of Findings
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendation
5.4       Areas for Further Research


1.1       Background to the Study
Energy has been defined as the ability to put effort and enthusiasm into an activity, work, etc.[1] In essence, it is the ability to do work. It is the force multiplier that enhances man’s ability to convert raw materials to finished and useable goods.[2] Hence, energy is one factor that controls national development of a country. Energy has been seen as an important issue for development in any given country, it is also an engine of social and economic opportunity in that no country can manage to develop beyond a subsistence economy without having at least minimum access to energy services for the larger proportion of its population.
Energy has come to retain a very important place in the development of any country or region. Indeed, energy is fundamental to the fulfillment of basic individual and community needs such as lightning, transportation, provision of water, food, health and education. Since all these services are indices by which a nation’s progress and development are measured, it then follows that energy is the major determinant of every country’s economic and social development.[3]
Energy access for all is the single most important component of any development strategy. In the words of Gerald Foley-
“…without this energy supply, the sophisticated skills of the industrial world are merely a burden in the struggle for survival”[4].
As a matter of fact, the place of energy cannot be understated in any country or geographical area.
Thus, it is not shocking news that Nigeria is still categorized as a developing nation since energy crisis is still a major problem. The sad reality in Nigeria now is that about 60% to 70% of the Nigerian population does not have access to electricity; this is because Nigeria as a country focuses primarily on the limiting and harsh source of energy: non renewable energy and still unserious about the other source.
There are two sources of energy which are renewable and non renewable. The most commonly employed of these have been the non-renewable sources of nuclear and fossil fuels origin. The utilization of non-renewable energy sources proved to be adequate but the byproducts are deleterious to humans and the environment.
Over the years, the main source of energy globally has been the fossil-type energy resources. This source of energy has been meeting three quarter of the world’s energy needs. However, rising concerns about the supply of energy security has led to the search of an alternative energy source.[5]
Thus, the deployment of renewable energy sources in the power sector is a consequence of strong climate change, environmental and energy security policies and an attempt to resolve the classic energy dilemma facing the world-security, sustainability and economic prosperity.[6]
Renewable energy is defined as energy obtained from the continuous and repetitive currents of energy recurring on the natural environment[7]. It is thus defined as energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Thus, in contrast to fossil fuels, they are environment-friendly, ubiquitous, self-replenishing, infinite and consequently, considered as the way to the future.
Hence, taking a global view, there is a shift to support the promotion of renewable energy.[8] Since 2005, worldwide renewable energy production capacity has increased.[9] Thus, several countries have put in place policies and legal frameworks for stimulating the development and growth of renewable energy especially in the electricity sub sector of the country. China, Germany, Spain, the EU and others have provided initiatives to provide incentives for producers of renewable energy. In France, for instance, a feed-in tariff was introduced in 2001, revised in 2006 and reconfirmed in 2008.[10]
Also, in India, in the year 2009, the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) approved a generation based incentive (GBI) scheme power projects which stipulated that an incentive tariff would be given to eligible projects for a period of ten years.[11]
As at 2007, research showed that forty-nine countries had renewable energy targets and promotion policies in place, including fifteen developing countries, and the list was growing.[12] In 2010, global investment in new renewable energy projects largely driven by a mix of renewable energy incentives and political pressure to invest in less emission-intensive energy production exceeded investment in new fossil fuel power plants.
All the above efforts of various countries utilizing renewable energy in the electricity sector are responses to the call of sustainable development.
Sustainable development emerged as a twentieth century concept for answering all environmental and resource management problems including climate change, loss of biodiversity, global warming, green house gases and many more ecological problems. The concept of sustainable development is traceable to Stockholm Conference of 1972[13] where it was first proclaimed (although, while that conference addressed the very many causes of environmental hazards, it did not address the then ‘soon-to-be-a-threatening’ phenomena of global warming and loss of biodiversity), nations subsequently have been heeding to the clarion call which makes Nigeria’s failure something to ponder on.
Hence, if Nigeria is blessed with vast oil and gas reserves and also an abundance of renewable energy potentials yet the country is suffering an energy crisis, what is the government missing out? Why is the concept of “renewable energy” (which would be subsequently be termed as “renewable electricity” as this research work goes on, since the focus of this research is primarily on the electricity subsector of Nigeria) still evasive in Nigeria?
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria as a country has still not gotten the gist of the modern trend of renewable energy in that it still focuses on the usage of fossil fuels and do not take advantage of its renewable energy potentials it possesses. And even when she attempts to, an incoherent framework in disguise of policies is what is birthed to guide the country. This has in no small way affected her and her citizens.

[1] Oxford dictionary of English; v.1.4
[2] Oluseyi Ajayi and Ajanaku Kolawole: Nigeria’s Energy Challenge and Power Development- The Way Forward.
[3] T. Esan “Status of Renewable Energy Policy and Implementation in Nigeria” (2008) Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, available online  at;,
[4] Gerald Foley. 1992. The Energy Question. 4th edition.
[5] Ibid, page 2
[6] P.K Oniemola “Legal Response to support Renewable Energy in China” (2014) 32 Journal of Energy, Environment and Natural resources (International Bar Association), 179
[7] G. Boyle (ed) Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable future, 2 Ed, (Oxford: London, 2004) 10
[8] S.C. Bhattacharyya, “Renewable Energies and the Poor: Niche or Nexus?” (2006) 34 Energy Policy 659, 659.
[9] As far back as 2005, worldwide renewable power capacity expanded to 182 gigawatts (“GW”), excluding large hydropower, which is about four percent of global power sector capacity. Of this capacity, developing countries had 44 percent. The six countries with the largest capacities were China (42 GW), Germany (23 GW), the United States (23 GW), Spain (twelve GW), India (seven GW), and Japan (six GW). See Wang, X.2007. Legal and Policy Frameworks for Renewable Energy to Mitigate Climate Change. Sustainable Development Law and Policy 7.2: 17- 20, 77-78 at 17.
[10] Dr. Yemi Oke ; Comparative Appraisal of Renewable Energy Law and Policy in Nigeria (2014) Journal of International and Comparative Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, pages 25-76
[11] Ibid
[12] REN21, Renewables: Global Status Report 2006 Update.
[13] UN Conference on Environment and Development 1972

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