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:

Gram Oorja

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

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.

Increased Productivity

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.

Job Creation

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.

Healthcare Improvements

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.

Conclusion

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.

Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited is the foremost and most innovative renewable energy solutions provider in West Africa, registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (RC1071222).

Our clients trust us as the most reliable renewable energy company delivering world-class service with a touch of unique local contexts because of the value we bring to the table.

Send us a message now to get a custom solar quote tailored to fit your needs. 

Plateau State, Nigeria – On December 3, 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its Implementing Agency – Rural Electrification Agency (REA), commissioned a 234KW solar hybrid mini grid power plant in Shimankar Community, Shendam Local Government Area. The project, which is one of the many solar mini projects to be commissioned under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), will provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity for the community members.

The REA Managing Director/CEO, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, emphasized the Federal Government’s commitment to meeting its developmental goals by providing electricity access for all. Reiterating REA’s role, she stated that “as an agency, we are responsible for powering unserved and under served communities, therefore, it is fulfilling every time homes, businesses, schools and medical centres are connected to sustainable solar power. Almost immediately, we are able to witness rural communities being transformed with clean energy through the jobs that are created during construction, to their micro and small businesses scaling to larger capacity thanks to reliable electricity.”

His Royal Highness Miskoom Maurice Danjuma Manu III, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the private sector developer for providing electricity to their community. “Our businesses are now fully operational; especially at night. Our businesses are growing; we can buy and enjoy cold beverages in the provision shops. Today is indeed the beginning of better things to come for Shimankar.”

GVE Projects Limited Chief Executive Officer, Ifeanyi Orajaka, shared that the installed mini grid comprising a total of 234kw of Solar PV, 236kWh of Lithium Battery Storage and 100KVA of Diesel Backup generator, will adequately energize the community. He also mentioned that the solar hybrid mini grid in Shimankar aims to provide reliable electricity to One thousand Nine hundred and Seventy Two (1,972) Households, Two hundred and Seventy three (273) Commercial Users, Five (5) Productive Users and Nineteen (19) Public Users in the community to improve the socioeconomic life of the community. “It is a thing of pride that GVE, an indigenous Nigerian firm, can be a part of developing Nigeria’s rural areas. Thanks to this project, Nigerian solar developers, like myself, can access these investment opportunities and participate in growing Nigeria’s evolving off-grid sector.”

Shimankar Community now joins the many communities across Nigeria experiencing social and economic progress thanks to the solar mini grids project under the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).

“We are very proud to have financed this project that enables GVE to bring clean, reliable energy to Shimankar, in line with our mission to increase off grid energy access in Nigeria,” said All On CEO, Wiebe Boer. “This will create thousands of new electricity connections, and we expect to see measurable productivity growth and economic benefits for the community in the near future.”

ABOUT GVE

Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited is Nigeria’s leading PV solar mini-grid solutions provider. GVE’s business footprint covers the design, sales, installation and maintenance of renewable energy solutions for residential, commercial, industrial and rural off-grid or under-served communities through commercially sustainable business models in line with our clients’ needs.

ABOUT SHIMANKAR COMMUNITY

Shimankar is an agrarian settlement on the banks of River Shimankar in Plateau State, which drains into River Benue at Ibi town in Taraba State. It is the 4th largest community in Shendam Local Government Area with the traditional rulership residing in Miskoom Maurice Manu Danjuma III.

ABOUT ALL ON

All On, an independent impact investing company, was seeded with funding from Shell, and works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for unserved and underserved off-grid energy markets in Nigeria, with a special focus on the Niger Delta. All On invests in off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass and gas technologies deployed by both foreign and local access-to-energy companies that complement available grid power across Nigeria and help bridge its significant energy gap.