“High cost of solar systems stalling full embrace of alternative energy by Nigerians”
While available statistics in the country has shown that Nigerians are willing to switch over to alternative sources of energy, it has however been discovered that the initial high cost of setting up a chosen source such as the solar system has been responsible for the inability to go for the desired power source.
This was made known to Orient Energy Review by a Sales Representative of Solar Blaid, Mr. Bamigbade Akinsanya during the 2018 edition of Power Nigeria in Lagos, recently. Akinsanya said that Nigerians were longer in doubt on the energy source that would best meet their needs, but the inability to mobilise the needed fund for the initial installation has been responsible for the delay in switching over to their preferred power source.
“In Nigeria, we have moved from the stage of people asking if we actually need other sources of energy. It is now obvious to Nigerians that we need renewable energy to overcome our power challenge, create employment and help grow our economy.
“At the moment, why everybody is sceptical about renewable energy is because of the high cost. But over time, it will get reduced when we start to produce locally. One of the few key things we need to look into in Nigeria is how best to procure locally.
“Of course, our exchange rate today is not helping matters because most of all these materials are brought in from China. So, what we will try to do as a company is to make sure that we set up a factory that couples these things locally to actually reduce the cost”, Akinsanya said.
Nigeria, having set an ambitious goal to shift her reliance on fossil fuel sources to alternative energy, it has been said that Nigeria targets to add 13GW of off-grid solar power by 2030, as announced by officials during COP21 in Paris. According to the Sales Representative, there is no appropriate time for the financial institutions in the country to take advantage of the investment opportunities available in the renewable energy than now.
“We want to encourage the financial institutions to key into renewable energy. Yes, it is capital intensive but over time, we will benefit from it because by the time we start to mass-produce these things, we will get return on investment. This is the peak period for investment into renewable energy, because from now onwards, what you will witness is increase in awareness, acceptance and adaptability by the people.
“One of the things we notice in our industry is that diesel consumption and the cost of general maintenance of the conventional street lights are enormous. A lot of people have issues with the on-grid power source, in some remote areas, power is hardly available and so the people depend on generator with the attendant risks such as theft and harmful fumes. But if have the solar system is installed; you don’t have to be bothered about these risks.
Akinsanya noted Solar Blaid as a Nigerian-based company through its various products has come to bring a lasting solution to the Nigerian perennial power problems. “We are a Nigerian-based company in partnership with a Chinese company that produces all in one solar street lights.
“We are here at the 2018 Power Nigeria to showcase one of our innovations and products which is Solar street lights and we have different types of the products.
We have the blade street light series, batman series. We also have the garden light. The features and designs are different. The advantage you have with our street lights is that it is all in one. It is all incorporated into one. Unlike the conventional ones we see around that has its panel and batteries separate.”