Exploring Factors Influencing Renewable Energy Diffusion in Commercial Buildings in Nigeria: A Grounded Theory Approach

Unuigbe, Maria orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7199-4303, Zulu, Sambo Lyson and Johnston, David (2022) Exploring Factors Influencing Renewable Energy Diffusion in Commercial Buildings in Nigeria: A Grounded Theory Approach. Sustainability, 14 (15). ISSN 2071-1050

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159726


The adoption and integration of renewable energy technologies (RETs) into buildings is key to making the necessary transition to low-carbon and resilient built environments. However, such technologies have struggled to gain a firm foothold in countries within the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region. This is particularly the case in Nigeria, which suffers from severe energy poverty, despite its significant RE and conventional energy potential. In Nigeria, a significant proportion of the energy demand for offices is provided by self-powered off-grid fossil-fuel generators. The country is also one of the primary settings for increased construction activity. This, combined with its susceptibility to the effects of climate change, presents significant concerns relating to the resilience of its built environment. However, there has not yet been a comprehensive empirical study addressing this, as previous studies have been limited in their insight and perspectives. This study adopted a grounded theory method (GTM) aligned with Charmaz’s approach, to gain in-depth participant-driven insights into factors influencing sustainable energy use in commercial buildings, focusing on solar photovoltaics (PVs). This led to the development of a theory of the sustainability transition process of construction professionals (CPs). It provides relevant, reliable, and relatable points of reference that would be beneficial to policymakers in developing plans for actionable interventions for PV and broader sustainable measures toward green energy transition. Furthermore, it highlights the value of employing GTMs in construction management research beyond the developing context. This paper contributes theoretically, empirically, and methodologically to facilitate a better understanding of the situations (context) grounded in empirical data.

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