Solar product sales in Nigeria have risen by 450 percent from 2017 to 2022, according to a new report from a renewable energy association, highlighting the growing interest in embracing alternative power sources.
The report by GOGLA, Lighting Global, a World Bank initiative, Efficiency for Access Coalition, and Berenschot, a Dutch management consultancy firm, says Nigeria’s solar product sales rose over one million last year, the highest since 2016.
The report said the second half of 2022 recorded the highest solar sales of all time, representing 78 percent of West African sales in that period.
Nigeria again recorded particularly high sales volumes this reporting round, reaching 722,600 units in the second half of 2022. This is a 55 percent increase in the first half of 2022 and an 86 percent increase compared to the second half of 2021. This was driven by an 82 percent increase in PayGo sales, while cash sales grew by 13 percent.
Analysts say government policies and greater awareness are playing a role. “It shows people are seeing solar as a viable alternative to the grid and generators because they are cheaper in the long run,” said Daramfon Bassey, a renewable energy expert.
Bassey also said the surge in solar product sales is due to more favourable policies for the renewable energy sector in Nigeria since 2015 that allowed for more private sector involvement.
Initiatives like the Nigeria Electrification Program (NEP), implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency with funding from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, seeking to provide electricity access, through mini-grids and stand-alone off-grid solutions, have led to the proliferation of appliances for productive uses in off-grid communities.
Other projects, like the $75 million RBF facility for solar energy kits, have played a key role in driving the rapid sales growth between 2019 and 2022, and the Solar Power Naija Program (SPN), announced in December 2020, seeking to electrify 5 million households, serving about 25 million Nigerians, through SHS and mini-grids, under the Economic Sustainability Plan, also helped with the growth recorded.
The report added that multi-light system sales increased by seven percent and Solar Home Systems (SHS) sales increased by 136 percent in the second half of last year. In addition, lantern sales decreased by two percent compared to the previous reporting round.
According to GOGLA, Nigeria accounts for 75% of all appliance sales in West Africa.