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Title: The role of law in improving access to electricity through off-grid renewable energy in Nigeria
Author: Ole, Ngozi Chinwa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 0242
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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The thesis investigates the effectiveness of law in addressing the barriers to private sector investment in Off-Grid Renewable Electricity (OGRE) in Nigeria. OGRE is the most promising electricity option for attaining a 100% access to reliable and sustainable electricity in Nigeria. This is the case notwithstanding that its development is constrained by the problem of its high initial capital cost. The financial sustainability of OGRE is undermined by Nigerian consumers' inability to pay a cost-reflective tariff, which will enable investors in the sector to recover their costs. There is also a current lack of technological capacity to manufacture and maintain OGRE technologies. The thesis analyses the governance framework for the electricity sector and argues that some of its features exacerbate the barriers to the development of OGRE. A case in point is the expensive licensing fee for OGRE projects, which is remarkably higher than the initial capital cost of any OGRE technology. The thesis analyses the regulatory support framework for OGRE - The Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 and the National Office for Technology Transfer Acquisition and Promotion Act (NOTAPA) 2004 - in order to ascertain their adequacy for addressing the current barriers to OGRE development. In so doing, the Power Consumer Assistance Fund (PCAF) and the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) established, as financial mechanisms under the EPSRA 2005, for addressing the financial barriers in the OGRE sector are found inadequate. The PCAF is yet to be set up, and its eligibility criteria exclude most OGRE projects. Similarly, the scope of the REF excludes urban OGRE projects. The NOTAPA 2004 requirements for technology transfer are found to impede rather than facilitate capacity building in the OGRE sector. The contributions of other states to low carbon development under the international climate change instruments is analysed to ascertain their extent in addressing the barriers to the development of Nigerian OGRE. The thesis argues that, even though the provisions have helped, they are and will continue to be limited in the role they play in the removal of barriers to OGRE development in Nigeria. Given the inadequacies of the Nigeria Law, the thesis analyses the China and the Philippines experience in addressing the financing and capacity building in OGRE sector. The aim is to deduce relevant lessons for developing an efficient, supportive framework that will underpin the development of OGRE in Nigeria. The primary lesson among others is the establishment of an overarching supportive Renewable Energy law that will provide for a fund solely for Renewable Energy projects in the OGRE context. The fund should disburse grants for supporting development and capacity building to the extent that will drive the optimal development of the OGRE sector. On this basis, recommendations are made for fine-tuning the role of law in the development of the OGRE sector in Nigeria.
Supervisor: Woolley, Olivia ; Partain, Roy ; Evan-Jones, Robin Sponsor: University of Aberdeen
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental law, International ; Renewable energy ; Rural electrification