Post-Field Presentations by Ph.D. Candidates of the Centre

The Centre recently hosted two Ph.D. post-field presentations. Lilian Idiaghe (Ph.D. Energy Law Candidate) and Josephine Odure-Asare (Ph.D. Energy Studies Candidate) both presented their post-field findings to faculty and students of the Centre during the last month.

Lilian Idiaghe’s study entitled, “Law and Renewable Energy Options for Rural Electricity in Nigeria” focused on the adequacy and effectiveness of the extant policy, legal and institutional frameworks governing renewable rural electricity in Nigeria.

In her review of the extant policies governing renewable rural electricity in Nigeria, she found that there were no defined criteria to measure effectiveness in the policies. Her findings noted an extremely centralized governance structure as against a decentralized structure as espoused in the Nigerian Constitution. Also there were many conflicting policy statements thus creating uncertainty particularly regarding the definition of institutional role and that rural electrification is not currently deployed on a commercial basis.

The study recommended a decentralization of rural electrification to ensure state and local government participation, ring fencing of the Rural Electrification Fund and the establishment and legislation of the rural electricity co-operatives.

Josephine Odure-Asare’s study which is entitled, “Economics Viability of Solar PV Systems in Off-Grid Rural Communities in Ghana” analyzed the economic viability potential of solar PV mini-grid systems for private sector investment in Ghana, using Pediatorkpe, an off-grid rural community in the Volta Region as a case study.

Her findings indicated that off-grid communities spend high amount of money on energy needs and that national grid-electricity cost is higher than the lifecycle cost of the solar PV system assuming the financial variable remain constant over the 25 year life cycle period. The solar PV project is also viable with a reduction of government subsidy to 70% with an interest rate of 10% and a cost of capital of 10%. The study further noted a positive association between policy type and investors’ decision, market efficiency and investors’ decision as well as social acceptance and investors’ decision.     

She recommended among other things, the improvement of the energy generated from the hybrid mini-grid which should be more than single-phase electricity, financial backing for community members in order to exploit opportunities created by the energy source for income generating activities, as well as an in-depth enlightenment of both investors and the communities on the potentials and capabilities of solar energy in the community.