Are Nigerian landlords dumping generators for solar power?

Experts in Nigeria have revealed that given the history of Nigeria with epileptic power supply, a growing number of property owners are investing more into solar power.

In 2016, solar energy became a very topical issue for property and energy experts in the face of Nigeria’s failure to generate sufficient electricity for its citizenry.

Nigeria's energy consumption

Nigeria’s energy consumption chart by Energypedia

Private Property spoke to a cross section of Lagos residents and we gathered that while several neighbourhoods have witnessed a surge in the use of functional solar panels, many others are yet to fully embrace alternative source of energy.

Neighbourhoods in Lagos using solar power include Toyin Street and GRA in Ikeja, Ogba, Yaba, Bode Thomas, Lekki, Ikoyi, Banana Island, Magodo, some parts of Agege and a few other parts of the Lagos Metropolis.

Parts of Lagos where residents have not witnessed a rise in homeowners relying on solar energy include Mushin, Alimosho, Ikorodu, Ojota, Akute, Makoko, Alakuko, Abule Egba and a long list of others.

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The electricity concern

We should point out here that Nigeria had a peculiar problem with electricity. According to the World Energy Council, on average, Nigerian households have access to less than 600-kilowatt hours a year of electricity, compared with a global average of nearly 3,500-kilowatt hours a year.

To put the problem of electricity into perspective, a good reference would be the story of the refrigerator bought by Todd Moss, the Vice President and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. The graph below shows electricity consumption across some African countries when compared to Moss’ fridge.

Electricity consumption graph 1

Electricity consumption in different countries | Image: Washingtonpost

Interestingly, in August 2016, the Japanese government donated solar power worth $9.7 million to the Federal Government to boost electricity in the country.

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has pointed out that the Federal Government would develop 20 per cent of total energy consumed in Nigeria from renewable sources by 2030.

Babatunde Raji Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on developments in the energy sector | Image: The Sheet

 

Companies licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC to be involved in the development of the solar projects  plants include:

  • Pan Africa Solar to develop a 75mw solar plant in Katsina State
  • Nigerian Solar Capital Partners (100mw) in Bauchi State
  • Afrinergia Power Limited (50mw) in Nasarawa State
  • Motir Dusable Limited (100MW) in Nasarawa State
  • Nova Solar 5 Farm Limited (100mw) in Katsina State
  • Kvk Power Limited (100mw) in Sokoto State
  • Middle Band Solar One Limited (100mw) in Kogi State
  • LR Aaron Power Limited (100mw) in the FCT
  • Nova Scotia Power Development Limited (80mw) in Jigawa State

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Experts have also submitted that The fact is Nigeria has one of the best conditions for developing solar power in the country given its climate. On an average, Nigeria has over 6 hours of daily sunshine. However, the problem, according to experts, is that solar power requires a high initial cost. Solar panels are not cheap and most people cannot afford to buy them.

The Power of The Sun - Nigeria's Solution

Property owners in Lagos who use solar energy to generate electricity pointed out a number of positives and negatives of using solar energy.

The pros and cons of using solar energy highlighted include:

Advantages and disadvantages of using solar energy

Pros and cons of solar energy

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However, regardless of the cost of installation, it is being embraced as a power source for residential buildings.

Therefore, in the days ahead, perhaps, more property owners will embrace this alternative source of energy to bring an end to the seemingly endless stretch of blackouts the nation has experienced over the past 57 years after its independence. Alternatively, the government could play a huge role in this transition.