Assessing the potential for energy from waste plants to tackle energy poverty and earn carbon credits for Nigeria

Emmanuel Ugochukwu Unaegbu, Keith Baker

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A major challenge for Nigeria is poor energy access and limited energy mix; relying mostly on gas and hydro power plants. Energy from Waste could provide a bridge for this problem. Fuel needed to power these plants is abundant and in unsanitary dumpsites across major cities in the country. This paper brings to the fore the potential for using energy from waste as an option for reducing energy poverty in Nigeria. The analysis presented here is based on waste generation data for strategic cities of Abuja and Lagos. After removing sizeable recyclable fraction from solid waste, it is estimated that the residual waste in Abuja and Lagos can generate 54GWh/year and 475GWh/year respectively; sufficient to power over 11,000 and 94,000 homes; reducing emissions by as much as 324 million kgCO2e and 2,835 million kgCO2e; and earning carbon credits of $7 million and $113 million per years respectively. The additional supply of waste from neighbouring cities can further enhance electricity generation capacities and carbon credit earnings. This paper concludes that energy from waste plants can help Nigeria effectively deal with the menace of growing waste generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and earn carbon credits, and very importantly improve her energy mix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019


  • energy from waste
  • electricity
  • energy policy
  • solid waste management
  • carbon credits
  • Nigeria


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