Community Acceptability of Renewable Energy in Africa: Implications for Climate Change Action in Sekoukou, Niger
Sarpong, Hammond Antwi
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Niger possesses a vast amount of renewable energy potential but still battles with numerous challenges in its energy sector with the increasing effects of climate change, also escalating the socio-economic predicaments of the country. Studies have revealed community acceptability as one approach to resolving such energy crises; however, acceptability is narrowly being discussed, especially within the context of African communities. The study aims to; therefore, understand the factors that influence the acceptability of renewable energy and its implication on climate change actions in Sekoukou community in Niger where electricity and clean cooking sources are in dearth. Various methods and techniques deployed for this study included focus group discussions, interviews, observations, as well as a gender sensitivity analysis. An assumption from a cross-tabulation test indicates that there is no significant statistical difference between occupation, household head and energy preferences. The gender sensitivity analysis also reveals a strong desire between males and females to participate in climate change adaption and mitigation programmes in the community. These results imply that a renewable energy financial model that targets the poorest of the poor and education to break the sociopsychological ties to firewood are needed to influence acceptance of renewable energy in Sekoukou Community. Gender integration in the energy planning process and alternative livelihood activities to improve the purchasing power of the community, are some recommendations made in this study. Also, a further adjustment in the policy framework of Niger towards universal energy access by 2030 is required to lure investors into the sector. Further studies that will focus on acceptability of energy across different communities and households in other localities will be beneficial to help bolster the findings and conclusion of this present study.