• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Solar, mini-grids can fix Nigeria’s electricity woes

Lagos’ off-grid electrification gets British financial support

Solar is the cheapest source of energy compared to the grid. So, solar has to be our default go-to technology to resolve the energy crisis in Africa, Norman Moyo, group CEO, Distributed Power Africa said on Tuesday.

Speaking at Bloomberg Invest; Focus Africa virtual event, Moyo said, “If I were to throw in numbers, a decent enough solar plant in Africa, costs around 7cent (N2.91) per kilowatt-hour, while a typical grid correct pricing (including subsidy which is also creating a problem) costs around 13cent (N5.40) to 15cent ( N6.23) and a typical generator is around 24 cents (N9.96) per kilowatts hour.”

The commercial and industrial players drive the economies of Africa. The industries, schools, and mines, however, have started to suffer significantly because there is no energy security due to the weak, wobbling and struggling grid, leaving these players to rely on the most expensive source of power which is the generator.

Solar energy is a decentralised source of energy that uses the sun’s light and heat to generate renewable or ‘green’ power. This means this alternative source of power enables individuals to generate their power within the comfort of their organisation of home thereby reducing the dependence on the grid.

Read also: Review of electricity pricing rule not automatic tariff increase – NERC

“Some organisations have a massive real estate on their roofs, others have idle car parks, where we can install panels on their roof, and we can generate up to 10 to 20 megawatts and power the whole company,” Moyo said.

“You can literally allow every entity in Africa to generate its own power and possibly sell some of it to the grid.”

During the event, Peter BenHur Nyeko, Co-founder, of Mandulis also stated that they convert Agricultural waste such as rice husks, maize cobs and coffee husks, into methane and hydrogen which goes into an engine, runs it and then generates electricity. This is known as a mini-grid.

“This supplies a village of 1000 homes which is far from the grid with up to two-megawatt of energy covering the needs of the village and it becomes significantly cheaper to develop the mini-grid to industrial-scale than to connect the village to the grid,” Nyeko said.