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By Clean Technology Hub Executive Director Ifeoma Malo and Senior Analyst Wole Hammond
The economic development of communities is heavily dependent on energy access. However, many rural settlements remain unconnected to the national electric grid.
Onono-Anam in Anambra State, Nigeria is one such community, where the lack of electricity has adversely affected the social, health, and economic life of the inhabitants of this community who are largely smallholder farmers and petty traders.
Only a handful of the 500 homes in this rural community can afford small generators to meet some of their energy needs, whilst the other inhabitants mainly rely on smoky kerosene lamps and fuel wood.
However, the launch of a 24kW solar mini-grid in 2016 ushered in a new era of unlimited power supply, which culminated in improved socio-economic well-being for Onono-Anam. Several homes are now powered by solar energy; agro-processing now thrives in the community, and nighttime security has been enhanced.
Over 50 direct and indirect jobs have been created during the project implementation, alongside knowledge transfer, as some of the inhabitants are still involved in post-installation operations. The positive impact of this project has resulted in the installation of an additional mini-grid to serve an additional 300 households in Onono and the surrounding communities of Okpechalla, Atachile, and Okilo.
Energy access for improved health
Up North in Bisanti, Niger state, the installation of a 40kW solar mini-grid was made possible through a partnership with the Bank of Industry, the United Nations Development Program, and the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
This mini-grid installation has been of immense benefit to the community. Over 300 households and approximately 1,600 people are now connected to the grid. Residents who ran petrol-powered generators for as much as N600 naira for 3 liters could now access a 24-hour power supply for 44.5% of that same amount.
Security and social interactions also have greatly improved, and the Primary Healthcare Centre in the community has recorded a 60% reduction in malaria cases in the community.
Many of the residents in this community attest to improvements in their health and well-being as they can use electric fans to sleep comfortably at night despite the heat and humidity synonymous to the region. The local economy has further blossomed as 35 micro, small and medium enterprises have been connected to the mini-grid, and farmers can now irrigate rice farms and earn more money.
The overarching desire of Green Village Electric Projects Limited is to see economic growth and improved social well-being in communities, without compromising environmental sustainability.
In Akpabom, Akwa Ibom State, where a 100kW mini-grid was installed, sponsored by the Rural Electrification Fund and All On, businesses can now run for longer with reduced costs often spent in the past on diesel or petrol for generators. Energy-related spending is now down by 40%.
As a coastal settlement, Akpabom’s fishermen have reduced post-harvest loss as the uninterrupted power supply gives them the opportunity to preserve fish, thereby yielding more income.
The social impact of the projects has resulted in improved quality of life. In Akpabom, there is a 68% downfall in malaria cases experienced in the community, and children could study and play more with the help of street lighting.
Goal: clean and affordable energy for all
As an industry leader, Green Village Electric (GVE) Projects Limited is at the forefront of providing clean and sustainable energy solutions to unserved and underserved rural communities. They also offer off-grid renewable energy solutions to commercial users – such as healthcare, agro-businesses – and residential users. GVE Projects has grown from a student-led idea in 2009 to a company with a staff strength of over 40 employees, serving over 8,984 households across the nation.
The company recently signed the first interconnected mini-grid tripartite agreement in Africa with the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Wuse Market Association to Develop a 1MW PV Solar Hybrid system for Wuse Market, Abuja – Nigeria.
Through seed funding, grants, and equity/debt financing by organizations such as the IEEE, USADF, USAID, GE Africa, European Union, All On, Rural Electrification Agency/Rural Electrification Fund, UNDP, and the Bank of Industry, GVE has successfully implemented 13 mini-grid projects across the country, with new projects in the pipeline in Plateau, Rivers, Kogi, Anambra, and the FCT.
GVE hopes to contribute to achieving SDG7 – affordable and clean energy for all – while putting smiles on people’s faces, which they have been doing across various communities like Bisanti, Kolwa, Onono, Kolaku, and Egbeke. The company’s target is to serve 3.6 million people in Nigeria and expand into the West African market over the next few years.
Approved by GVE-GROUP
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy in Nigeria refers to the energy that comes from renewable resources.
It is also referred to as clean energy and it comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished.
For example, sunlight or wind keep shining and blowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather.
Types of Renewable energy includes solar, wind, hydro, oceanic, geothermal, biomass, and other sources of energy that indefinitely renew itself in nature.
Forms of useable energy include electricity, hydrogen, fuels, thermal energy and mechanical force.
Beginning of Renewable Energy
While renewable energy is often thought of as a new technology, man has been harnessing nature’s power for a very long time.
We have been using renewable energy for heating, transportation, lighting, and more.
For instance, man has been using wind to propel boats to sail the seas and windmills to grind grain.
Also, man harness the sun to provide warmth during the day and help kindle fires to last into the evening.
But over the past 500 years or so, humans have been increasingly turning away to cheaper, dirtier energy.
Such energy sources like coal and fracked gas have greatly affected our climate and weather conditions.
Now that technology is helping the world to increasingly innovative and uses less-expensive ways to capture and retain wind and solar energy, renewables are becoming a more important power source.
In the U.S.A, for instance, renewable energy sources account for more than one-eighth of US total energy generation.
The expansion in renewables is also happening at scales large and small, from rooftop solar panels on homes that can sell power back to the grid to giant offshore wind farms.
Even some entire rural communities rely on renewable energy for heating and lighting.
What are the Sources of Renewable Energy in Nigeria?
Nigeria has an abundance of various renewable energy resources.
However, Nigeria generates a small amount of energy from only four main renewable energy sources. They are
Status of Renewable energy in Nigeria
Electricity distribution is holding Nigeria back.
Electricity shortages significantly impede Nigeria’s economic growth.
Some parts of the country have little or no access to the national grid.
Meanwhile, in other areas electricity is only available for short and varying periods of the day.
Renewable energy penetration in Nigeria is still in its beginning stage.
The only source of renewable energy in the country is hydro-power and biomass.
Even though there is the presence of wind and solar energy, they have only been deployed in a minimal amount.
To date, fossil fuels entirely dominate the national energy supply in Nigeria.
Renewable energy resources are grossly underutilised in the country despite their availability in reasonable quantities.
Government Contribution to the Development of Renewable Energy
Even though many homes have been using renewable energy sources prior to this time, the Nigerian government, in 2003, introduced renewable energy as part of its national energy policy.
Successful implementation should result in the installation of enough wind, solar PV, solar thermal, and hydroelectricity sources by 2025 to provide the equivalent of the entire grid capacity in use in Nigeria today.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is already committing to stimulate investment in renewable energy generation in Nigeria.
With a vast and mostly untapped potential in renewable energy resources, the Commission has set a target of generating a minimum of 2,000MW of electricity from renewables by the year 2020.
The main feature of this project include;
- Guaranteed price & access to the grid
- Feed-In – Tariff for Solar, Wind, Biomass & Small Hydro
- Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) based on the plant life cycle of 20 years
- Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to procure a minimum of 1000MW (50 per cent of the total projected renewable sourced electricity)
- Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to procure a minimum of 1000MW (50 per cent of the total projected renewable sourced electricity)
If this project becomes real, we can be very sure of it having a positive impact on the state of electricity generation and distribution in Nigeria.
The use of renewable natural resources, in combination with efficient supply and use of fossil fuels with cleaner technologies, can help reduce the environmental effects of energy use.
It will also help Nigeria in replacing the existing, inefficient fossil fuel technologies that pollute the environment.
Private Sector Participation in Renewable Energy Development
When it comes to private sector participation in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria, GVE Projects Limited is at the forefront of this.
Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited is the foremost and most innovative renewable energy solutions provider in West Africa.
The company is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (RC1071222).
GVE Projects Limited has a lot of achievements in its coffers.
This is because of incredible clients and sponsors like you, private and public partners.
Also, we have been able to position the company as the leader in Nigeria’s renewable energy industry.
We create value for our numerous clients through world-class service delivery with a touch of unique local contexts.
Thanks to the expertise and dedication of our board of directors, management, employees and our various business associates.
We also have a long history perfectly completing renewable energy projects especially solar mini-grid installations around Nigeria.
Most recently, we completed a 1MW interconnected solar mini-grid in partnership with the AEDC to provide constant electricity to the modern Wuse Market in Abuja.
Obviously, this interconnected electricity distribution agreement is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
As pioneers launching new frontiers in the renewable energy industry in Nigeria, we hope to reach that point where Nigeria has most of its energy coming from renewable energy sources.
In addition, we are working really hard to see that Nigeria continues to get a 24/7 supply of electricity for daily economic activities.
It’s our vision to be the first-choice global renewable energy solutions provider while also providing reliable and sustainable energy solutions to our clients.
With our eyes set on this mission alongside a strategic collaboration with companies and sponsors, we hope to transform the energy and electricity situation in Nigeria.
Are you starting a new renewable energy project? Contact Us Today!
Phone: +234 909 2227 483, +234 909 2229 483
Once you’ve gone through these 6 steps, you’ll be off and running to design your own DIY off-grid solar system.
Providing electricity to rural populations can take any one of three forms: grid extension; standalone systems; and solar mini-grid systems.