Sustainable Energy Development: The Key to a Stable Nigeria
This paper proposes the use of sustainable energy systems based on solar and biomass technologies to provide solutions to utility challenges in Nigeria and acute water shortage both in rural and urban areas of that country. The paper highlights the paradoxes of oil-rich Nigeria and the stark reality of social infrastructure deprivations in that country. Perennial power outages over many years have translated to the absence of or poorly-developed basic social infrastructures in Nigeria. The consequences of this lack have been an increase in abject poverty in rural and urban communities as well as the erosion of social order and threats to citizen and their property. This paper proposes the adaptation of two emerging technologies for building sustainable energy systems and the development of decentralized and sustainable energy sources as catalyst for much-needed social infrastructure development through the creation of Renewable Energy Business Incubators, creative lending strategies, NGO partnerships and shifting energy-distribution responsibilities. These changes will stimulate grassroots economies in the country, develop large quantities of much needed clean water, maintain acceptable standards of sanitation and improve the health and wellbeing of Nigerian communities. The proposed strategies are specific to the Nigerian context; however, the authors suggest that the same or similar strategies may provide energy and social infrastructure development solutions to other developing countries as well.
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