On Thursday, 3 February 2022, in Abuja, the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNEP United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative formally launched the project, Scaling Up Energy-Efficient and Climate-Friendly Cooling in Nigeria’s NDC Revision.
In his welcoming remarks, the ECN Director-General/CEO, Professor Eli Jidere Bala, stated that “the project is aimed at accelerating the transition to climate-friendly, low-global warming potential refrigerants, and energy-efficient air conditioners in residential, commercial and public buildings thereby contributing to meeting Nigeria’s climate targets in a cost-effective and sustainable manner”. He further stated that Nigeria is the largest market for cooling in Africa and one of the fastest-growing in the world, with annual sales of mini-split air conditioners in the country at over 550,000 units accounting for about 20% of the total in Africa and Middle Eastern countries.
Most of these air‑conditioners are inefficient and use refrigerants with a high global warming potential. With the 2.5% yearly increase in Nigeria’s population, combined with improving lifestyle and urbanization, demand for air‑conditioners and other cooling devices, and consequently energy consumption and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are only set to rise. This project, supported by funding from the Clean Cooling Collaborative, is a key for Nigeria to address this demand while mitigating its negative impacts, and to help achieve the emissions reduction target in Nigeria’s revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2030. This target includes an unconditional GHG emissions cut of 20% and a conditional reduction of 47% (244 MtC02eq) below the business-as-usual scenario. The revised NDC recognises that much of this conditional reduction target will be achieved through the implementation of energy-efficient best practices across all sectors.
As stated by Professor Eli Jidere Bala, “Improving the efficiency of cooling appliances is therefore imperative, as most consumers are buying cheaper ACs with average efficiencies less than half of what is typically available on the shelf for purchase. It is, therefore, commendable that this project is being mentioned in the revised NDC as one of the mitigation priorities.”
The project provides an integrated approach to tackling the problem. It includes technical support for i) target setting and strengthening the upcoming National Cooling Action Plan and the inclusion of energy efficient and climate friendly cooling targets in the revision of the NDC, ii) the revision of the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and energy labels for room air-conditioners, and iii) enhancing monitoring, verification and enforcement, along with capacity building training for installers and enforcement officials, and iv) an awareness campaign to raise awareness on sustainable cooling to the public and businesses
The expected benefits for Nigeria in 2030 from an accelerated transition to energy-efficient and climate-friendly air conditioning appliances are:
- 7 TWh savings on annual electricity consumption (avoiding investment costs for 2.5 power plants of 500MW)
- 4.3 million tonnes of CO2 avoided annually (equivalent to taking more than 2.4 million cars of the road)
- Over $630 million savings in annual electricity costs
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and the Ministries of Finance and Environment, shared good-will messages and confirmed their support to the project, which is key to ensuring that these are benefits are achieved.
Indeed, inter-institutional collaboration is essential as was mentioned by Meseret Teklemariam Zemedkun, Programme Manager, Energy, UNEP Africa, in her opening introduction to the project, “More than ever we need to join our forces and seek for sustainable and innovative environmental solutions to bring a paradigm shift. The business-as-usual scenario is not helping us tackle the climate crisis as well as achieve the sustainable development.”
Representatives of the government agencies, along with product manufacturers, partner institutions and technical experts found consensus that making this project a success is of utmost importance for Nigeria to deliver cooling in a more sustainable and affordable manner.
For further information on the contact:
Okon Ekpenyong, Energy Commission Nigeria – email@example.com
Meseret Zemedkun, UNEP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Holuj, UNEP U4E – email@example.com
Alternatively, you can download a copy of the project factsheet from the U4E website.