Communication 7: Evaluating the potential of sustainable energy in small and medium-sized enterprises: Accelerating the energy transition in communities in Global South
In Nigeria, inaccessibility and regular outages of power from the national grid has compelled SMEs to rely on fossil-based energy sources which aggravates environmental pollution, increasing mean carbon footprint, and further expand social and economic consequences. This paper implemented observatory investigation and conducted semi-structured interviews to obtain data on the cost, quantity consumed and sources of energy in Wula in Boki forest area of CRS, Nigeria. Using standard emission factors, we estimate carbon footprint and identify sustainable energy potentials of the community.The study found a significant sustainable energy potential in the local community and opportunities for co-creating sustainable interventions that could jointly address energy needs for SMEs and proffer solutions for environmental and social impacts. The analysis further indicates that SMEs spent about $13,563 USD annually on fossil fuel-based energy and consumed 33,215 litres of petrol and diesel/annum; an estimated 76,891.0642 KgCO2e (76.89106 tCO2e) per annum of CO2 emission. Having scaled the problem, we plan to demonstrate a hybridised sustainable energy system aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, sustain SMEs viability and contribute towards the achievement of the UN SDGs. Potentially, this could establish new business frontiers for the rural poor, lift families out of poverty and transform rural lives in line with the SDGs requirements.