SUNGAS: Ensuring sustainable energy access in Nigeria

The SUNGAS project brought partners together to ensure access to energy and community-based energy facilities in some of the poorest communities in Nigeria. 

2009 - 2016
Ben Garside

Principal researcher, Shaping Sustainable Markets

Woman silhouetted in front of gas flare

A woman dries tapioca beside a burning gas flare near Warri, Nigeria (Photo: copyright George Osodi/Panos Pictures)

Nigeria has vast oil and gas reserves and abundant renewable energy potential. Yet the country’s energy crisis undermines its ability to reduce poverty and support socio-economic development. 

The SUNGAS (Sustainable Utilisation of Nigeria’s Gas and Renewable Energy Resources) project was conceived to catalyse the development of natural gas and renewable energy markets, as well as sustainable community-based energy facilities, in some of the poorest communities in Nigeria, focusing on the Niger Delta region. 

It aimed to demonstrate that alternative community-based energy facilities were able to provide sufficient power for meeting rural and urban community needs through policymaking activities.

What did IIED do?

IIED worked with ‘champions’ of sustainable energy, who carried out a range of projects to secure access to energy for poor communities within the country, and analysed the impacts of this work.

As a result, IIED published the 'Access to sustainable energy: what role for international oil and gas companies? Focus on Nigeria' report that explored how international oil and gas companies could contribute to tackling energy poverty in regions where they operate by developing initiatives with governments, donors and civil society.