The National Centre for Energy Research and Development, University of Nigeria, Nsukka was established by an Act of the National Assembly in 1980 along with three other research centres. The Centre at Nsukka started operation fully in 1982. The Federal Government later established Energy Commission of Nigeria through decrees number 12 of 1988 and number 19 of 1989 and charged it with the legal mandate of supervising the four Centres.

The mandate of the National Centre for Energy Research and development, University of Nigeria Nsukka, is to carry out research, development, dissemination and manpower training in the various areas of renewable and non-renewable energy resources such as Solar, Biomass, Wind, Hydro, Geothermal, Coal, Petroleum, Energy Management and Environment etc. By extension, the Centre has the mandate to mount short courses, Diploma and degree programmes in renewable energy technologies in collaboration with relevant academic departments of the University of Nigeria.