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Not There Yet: Mapping Inhibitions to Solar Energy Utilisation by Households in African Informal Urban Neighbourhoods

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Listed:
  • Aliyu Salisu Barau

    () (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Bayero University Kano, Kano 700241, Nigeria)

  • Aliyu Haidar Abubakar

    () (Department of Environmental Management, Bayero University Kano, Kano 700241, Nigeria)

  • Abdul-Hakim Ibrahim Kiyawa

    () (Tianjin Key Laboratory of Indoor Air Environmental Quality, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China)

Abstract

The average household access to electricity in Nigeria is estimated at four hours per day. This paradoxical energy crisis in a top oil and gas exporting country makes an interesting case for local and global players in the sustainable energy agenda. The current study showcases experiences of households that installed and use solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies in urban Africa. It identifies the key sociotechnical transition issues that shape the households’ solar energy adoption strategies. To get a clear picture of the situation, the study focuses on the Kano urban agglomeration—a densely populated city with high economic activities. To answer the research question, the sampled respondents shared their experiences via questionnaire and interviews. Similarly, field observations guided the research team to identify patterns of household solar energy use, and how urban planning, building, and roofing types inhibit solar energy utilisation. From the results of the study, it appeared that households use solar energy for lighting, energising rechargeable appliances, and cooling of houses. Nevertheless, none of the respondents use solar photovoltaics (PVs) for cooking—the biggest consumer of fuelwood in Nigeria. Finally, this study is optimistic that despite the challenges identified, the transition to clean energy security in Africa is achievable through coordinated efforts of people, industry, and governments. The transition to renewables by households promises significant changes that can lever the mainstreaming of the UN Sustainable Development Goals-SDG no. 7.

Suggested Citation

  • Aliyu Salisu Barau & Aliyu Haidar Abubakar & Abdul-Hakim Ibrahim Kiyawa, 2020. "Not There Yet: Mapping Inhibitions to Solar Energy Utilisation by Households in African Informal Urban Neighbourhoods," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-14, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:3:p:840-:d:312230
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wirba, Asan Vernyuy & Abubakar Mas'ud, Abdullahi & Muhammad-Sukki, Firdaus & Ahmad, Salman & Mat Tahar, Razman & Abdul Rahim, Ruzairi & Munir, Abu Bakar & Karim, Md Ershadul, 2015. "Renewable energy potentials in Cameroon: Prospects and challenges," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 560-565.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy; SDGs; urban planning; sustainability; transition; socio-technical;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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