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  • Writer's pictureTade Oyewunmi

Seminar on the Implications of Global Energy Transition and Energy Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

This virtual seminar was hosted by the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL) (now the Department of Minerals, Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (DMPEL), University of Ibadan, Nigeria on Thursday 6th April 2023

The idea of an 'energy industry in transition' is not necessarily a new phenomenon. When considering the formation of energy policy in this regard, it is essential to understand the relevant social, economic, and regulatory context.

In the US and Europe for instance, modern energy industries and markets began to take shape during the last quarter of the nineteenth century when there was a gradual shift from reliance on traditional energy sources such as wood and biomass to coal and then to more common sources like oil, natural gas, hydro, nuclear, etc. all of which supported the industrial revolution and economic boom. In the US there was also the evolution of state and local-level regulation evolving into federal-level regulation as the electricity and natural gas industry became increasingly national and interstate markets were developed.

The seminar highlights the main drivers of the current global energy transitions including-

  1. falling costs of renewables and emerging technologies

  2. energy efficiency and demand side programs

  3. climate change mitigation and decarbonization

  4. overall government policy objectives and market reforms

  5. electrification of things

Ensuring universal energy access and affordability are essential objectives for energy policy in the Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) context. A good energy policy that eventually informs the emerging legal and regulatory framework for energy sector investments should take due cognizance of the local social and economic contexts and facilitate the right balance between affordability, reliability, and security of supply and environmental protection/sustainable development.

The presentation discusses the relevant developments in the US as a reflection of global trends. It considers the implication of these trends in the SSA region, in particular, Nigeria and South Africa, which are the two biggest African economies in GDP terms, and also major contributors to the region's energy supply mix.

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