Experts in renewable energy on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, said that more Nigerians embraced the use of renewable energy in the first half of the year due to poor electricity supply and increase in prices of petroleum products.
In separate interviews in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the experts said that renewable energy remained the alternative power solution to the frequent collapse of the national grid in recent times.
Mr Sam Nwosu, the Secretary General, Council of Renewable Energy Nigeria, said that there had been a surge in the number of Nigerians now using renewable energy.
He said that the recent spate of blackouts had made everyone start looking for alternatives and the most viable alternative now was renewable energy.
“The number of people getting renewable energy is increasing, the level of awareness is rising and the acknowledgement that renewable energy is a very viable alternative is very obvious,” Nwosu said.
Also, Mrs Olawunmi Akande, an official of a power solution company in Ibadan, Nexgen Energy, said that the increase in prices of petroleum products had also necessitated Nigerians to source for alternative energy solutions.
She said that, with diesel selling at N850 per litre and petrol at N180/N200 per litre, it had become almost impossible for homes and businesses to operate using generators with the epileptic power supply.
“So, more people are open to the idea of getting alternative sources like solar solutions to power household items, offices and industries.
“There have been a lot of hotels, institutions, hospitals and other companies getting solar solutions in our society now, as an alternative to generators and the national grid,” she said.
Akande said that consequently there has also been an increase in the number of companies springing up in the renewable energy field.
According to her, more people are investing in the renewable energy sector and more people are importing products, batteries, solar panels, inverters and so on as well as offering services and products to Nigerians.
Akande said in the first half of 2022, there had been a 50 per cent increase in the number of people who access renewable energy, in particular solar energy in Nigeria.
“In Nexgen Energy, a company that offers renewable energy services, solar in particular, there has been more sales of solar solutions.
“People walk in more frequently and most frequently pay immediately to get solar solutions installed right away as opposed to before when people window shop just to get an idea of how much solar energy solutions cost and what it entails,” she said.
Akande further said everyday investors invest in solar solutions, adding “everyday, we have new businesses springing up in the sector. At least you have four new people starting the business every month.’’
She said that there had been improvement in the technology and it was being sustained.
“For instance there has been improvement in types of batteries used for renewable energy solutions.
“Currently we even have OpzV2 batteries, two volt batteries, that are meant to power heavy industrial appliances and that can last for up to five years.
“We have lithium-ion batteries now, which occupy limited space, and are smaller in size and can power more appliances for longer periods of time.
“We have peck panels which is a new type of solar panel that comes even smaller in size and shape. It occupies less space and can power more appliances for longer period of time.
“In the past, batteries lasted just about two or three years, but there’s a great improvement now and they can last up to five years.”
Speaking in the same vein, Miss Olabisi Muheeb, a renewable energy expert, said that Nigerians are gradually shifting to renewable energy, “solar to be precise’’.
“Based on our statistics for the first half of 2022 we have done more Kilowatt of solar installations than we did for the whole of 2021.
“And as at November 2021, we installed and distributed solar energy solutions to about 17 states in Nigeria and by the end of June 2022, we have done that in 25 states.
“When you look at solar energy solutions, it only becomes necessary for it to be fully embraced because it is cost effective in the long run; the cost of refinance is the lowest compared to other sources of energy.
“It is also reliable, convenient and safe to use for homes and businesses. It is free from hazards and environmentally friendly.
“As at 2021 we did about 300,000 Kilowatt, but as at July 2022 we have done about 350,000 and this shows a surge in the number of people who now use renewable energy,” she said.
By Ibukun Emiola