The Future of Solar in Nigeria

Solar (or Photovoltaic cell) systems are gradually becoming a thing in Nigeria as an alternative power source. They are a cleaner, noiseless, easier to maintain alternative to generating sets but aren’t nearly as common.

The number of Nigerians without power supply has been put around 90 million people. That’s effectively half the population of the country. With a national power grid that is unable to meet the power needs of most Nigerians, people are having to look at alternative power sources that aren’t generating sets. The government is particularly focusing on such options as well – with its ban on low-cost generators last year. This is all in part of the government’s goal to cut down on emissions by 45% by 2030 according to The Nation – Nigeria.

The adoption rate for solar power is on the rise, though, with private companies providing solar power solutions to as many as 30,000 customers in central Nigeria alone. There are other such companies providing such services across the country as well. There are also homes and offices with solar panels as part of their power options, in addition to supply from the national grid and/or generators. The potential for solar energy is such that the following will very likely happen:

1. Demand will rise as sensitization increases:
At the moment, the demand for solar power systems doesn’t seem very high for one major reason: sensitization. There’s not a lot of information readily available to spur more people to opt for solar power. The demand is bound to rise as more information is put out there about the technology.

2. Prices will drop eventually:
There is the general notion that solar energy is still somewhat costlier than other more conventional energy sources. But this is due to the current scale of use. When demand rises and supply rises along with it, prices should drop as the adoption rate rises. Also, more companies like Lumos will spring up, providing subscription payment plans for users. This will help cut down on prices and increase adoption, as a lot more people can opt in for plans that are suitable to them.

3More regulation:
At the moment, there isn’t proper regulation of the types of solar panels that are imported into the country. This has led to the rise in fake or substandard panels in the market. As sensitization increases – and the government focuses more on alternative energy sources – the regulation will be better to improve the quality of panels imported. More regulation will also mean that solar power dealers/operators will have their business processes subjected to checks by such regulations.

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