Electrification is popular in cities and modernized areas. Many localities lack electricity and even if they do, they aren’t sustainable. A lot of political leaders underestimate the importance of rural electrification, especially in Nigeria and other countries of Africa, and this neglect has cost these countries stunted growth.
According to All Africa, rural development through rural electrification can contribute to achieving most MDGs in Zambia. Similarly, making Zambia a middle-income country by 2030 isn’t easy. It needs identification of sectors that have greater multiplier effects; and allocating scarce resources to such sectors for a better tomorrow.
When countries like Zambia have identified the importance of this process, then it is a very important process. So, this article will strongly comment on rural electrification, it’s processes, and most importantly, the importance of rural electrification in Nigeria.
What is Rural Electrification?
Rural electrification simply means drawing electrical power to very local and remote areas. The neglect involved in this process has caused many communities their drive to be innovative and contribute actively to the overall progress of a nation.
The Electrification typically starts up in cities and towns and gradually inclines towards rural areas, however, this process often runs into obstacles in developing nations like Nigeria. Expanding the national grid is expensive and countries consistently lack the capital to grow their current infrastructure.
Furthermore, amortizing capital costs to plummet the unit cost of each hook-up is harder to do in lightly populated areas (yielding higher per capita share of the expense). If countries like Nigeria can overcome these obstacles and reach nationwide electrification, rural communities will reap considerable amounts of economic and social development.
How Does Rural Electrification Work?
Rural electrification doesn’t work in a pattern dissimilar from city electrification. However, because of the low population density, other options such as solar energy come in very handy instead of connecting so many grid lines.
With great solar powered connections, rural communities bear less costs on electricity bills, and don’t need constant help in maintaining their electricity lines. And this is very possible when they know how to buy solar energy in Nigeria or any other African nation suffering this same problem.
Many countries have faced the challenges of poor rural electrification problems and a good number of them have overcome, and are on track to overcome it. An example from Wikipedia would be:
Like many other microgrid companies, Gram Oorja has set out to provide electricity to the millions who lack access to power in rural India. Gram Oorja created a model based upon “corporate-social partnership” and gains funding from corporate charity funds.
Their first project was in Darewadi, a rural village with 39 households. Gram Oorja raised funding from Bosch Solar Energy and received consultation and guidance from the Shakti Foundation. They installed a solar power plant capable of producing 9.4 kilowatts of power with a backup biogas unit to produce energy when sunlight is not available. Local ownership of the project is one of the key tenets of Gram Oorja’s business model, so they encouraged participation in the set up and management of the mini-grid. A village trust collects bills every month and deposits the revenue into a corpus fund.
This hybrid model proved to be successful and has been implemented in over 10 villages. Gram Oorja currently has an installed capacity of 45.7 kW and serves 230 households. They have also partnered with Bank of America to continue to implement these projects across India.
The Importance of Rural Electrification in Nigeria
No country has experienced strong levels of development without giving huge importance to rural electrification. In a country like Nigeria still battling electricity problems, identifying and highlighting the importance of this system will cause the nation to start making important moves towards progress.
When considering the importance of rural electrification, let’s identify them in terms of:
Education is the primary ingredient that boosts the mental and behavioral intelligence of a child. With access to quality electricity, children can easily study without fear of power failure, and using bright lights that help them preserve their vision unlike candles.
A lot of countries that have adopted rural electrification commented that the process has helped students study better and perform at the same level during their tests and examinations. Teachers have also benefited greatly as they can create more notes and teach for longer hours.
With efficient rural electrification, businesses can run for longer hours with reduced overhead costs. This way, they can employ more people which will in turn reduce employment rate and improve the national economy.
Additionally, farmers can leverage modern technological patterns of agriculture that are centered on electrical machines.
Efficient rural electrification will lead to a progressive community. With constant electricity, more factories will increase their manpower as they will seek to continually remain productive. With more people working, economic growth enters the fast track.
Most healthcare equipment is electrically powered. And most times, patients need equipment like the air conditioning to work optimally when they’re in a recovery stage. Sterilizers and refrigerators will work optimally and this will help the overall improvement of the health industry.
When you know the importance of rural electrification in Nigeria, you will seek to ensure your committee benefits greatly from a process that will improve their lives.
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