Evaluating Sustainable Energy Potentials through Carbon Emission Assessment of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the Global South: a case in Wula, CRS Nigeria

2020-07-04T16:24:41Z (GMT) by Justin Udie Subhes Bhattacharyya
There is increasing focus on sustainable energy in developing countries as part of their transition to low
carbon economy. Approximately, 40% of the world’s population, mostly in low- and middle-income
countries, do not have access to modern energy. Developing countries including Nigeria are facing
energy poverty. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a role in achieving the United
Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Absence of sustainable energy is hindering the
growth of SMEs in the Global South with impacts on society. In Nigeria, inaccessibility and regular
outages of power from the national grid compels SMEs to rely on fossil-fuel based energy which
exacerbate pollution and carbon footprint having environmental, social and economic consequences.
This project evaluates the potential of sustainable energy in SMEs for minimizing carbon footprint and
accelerating the energy transition in a local community of Wula, Nigeria. This exploratory investigation
conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 SMEs to obtain data on energy consumption including
energy type, quantity consumed and annual cost to estimate carbon footprint and identify sustainable
energy needs.

The study found that there is significant potential for sustainable energy in the local community and
joined-up approach in interventions cannot only address environmental issues but social issues in the
local community. The analysis indicates that SMEs spend $13,563.4 annually on fossil fuel-based
energy and consume 33,215 litres of petrol/annum; and an estimated carbon footprint of 76,891.0642
KgCO2e (equivalent of 76.89106 tCO2e) per annum. The project helps to understand state of the
problem and plans to reduce CO2 emissions and sustain SMEs by installing sustainable energy systems
based on the community needs and contribute towards the SDGs. This could open new markets and
business opportunities for the poor in the rural area, hence lift families out of poverty and transform
lives as a contribution towards SDGs.