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Nigeria’s energy transitions: policy decisions, influences and unintended consequences

By Norbert Edomah


It is argued that policy makers have very important roles in governing transitions in any\ud given society through established institutional frameworks. It has also been argued that\ud energy infrastructure choices are determined by institutional dynamics and structures.\ud However, what are the influences underlying changes in energy supply infrastructure?\ud Not many studies have been done on these underlying influences, particularly in a\ud developing country context. This thesis focuses on highlighting the role of the policy\ud making processes and their influences on energy infrastructure provisions and energy\ud systems change.\ud Informed by critical realism as the chosen research philosophy, the use of mixed\ud methods was adopted in conducting the study with a specific focus on the Nigerian\ud case. Documentary data were gathered from policy documents and archives of various\ud institutions. Qualitative data were gathered, using semi-structured interviews, from\ud people who have been involved in the policy making process and those who have been\ud involved in planning, specification and maintenance of new and existing energy\ud infrastructure.\ud The study reveals: that there is a complex relationship between resources, institutions,\ud and political structures in the governance of energy infrastructure; that energy\ud transitions were influenced by government policies implemented within and through\ud institutions; and that there is increased need for partnership and interaction between\ud public and private institutions in the governance and provision of energy infrastructure.\ud The study concludes by highlighting that: (1) energy infrastructure provision is primarily\ud a political choice. (2) Technological changes in electricity supply systems are a major\ud catalyst in shaping the kind of energy infrastructure we end up with. (3) Energy\ud resource availability and reserves plays a major role in the technology choices for\ud electricity infrastructure provision and use. (4) The ‘geographies of energy’ is a major\ud factor that influences energy production and consumption dynamics

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