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Solar as substitute to fuel generators

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By Abraham Adekunle

Country faces a plethora of complex challenges due to small generators use.

Nigeria operates on a staggering number of 20 million fuel generators, a prime contributor to its economy. Although the country prohibited the import of small generators in 2015, these ubiquitous gasoline-powered machines remain vital, fueling the nation’s economic activities. The combined power output of these generators exceeds the capacity of the entire national grid by an impressive eight times. In 2022, the unimpressive grid capabilities, antiquated infrastructure, and transmission limitations have resulted in a mere five gigawatts of available capacity. This predicament is worsened by the unreliability of electricity access.

Every year, a shocking 1,500 lives are snatched away by the harmful vapours emitted from these power generators. Breathing in the dense smoke from these machines not only endangers health instantly but also skyrockets the chances of developing lung cancer by 70 percent for those unfortunate enough to be exposed. Furthermore, a staggering two-thirds of individuals who rely on these vital sources of electricity claim to suffer from hearing impairments, indicating the disturbingly quiet but very real negative consequences that come with utilizing these seemingly essential devices.

Fuel prices tripled in 2023, solar generators now preferred solution for users.

The environmental ramifications of these generators not only have a detrimental effect on public health but also leave a profound mark on the climate. (Since 2015, about 175 entities signed the Paris Agreement, which aims to compel participants to work towards achieving net-zero emissions.) On a daily basis, 75 million liters of fuel are used, resulting in the emission of a collective 40 million tons of carbon annually in Nigeria alone. This significant carbon footprint undermines Nigeria’s dedication to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent before 2030.

In July 2023, Nigeria witnessed an astronomical rise in fuel prices as subsidies were removed. It caused the price per liter to triple. As a result, the use of fuel generators has become significantly more expensive, resulting in an estimated annual expenditure of approximately $12 billion. However, amidst this turmoil, the price of solar generators remains unaltered. Instead, the solar generator has emerged as the most favoured and cost-effective alternative for electricity generation in the country.

$20 billion could be unlocked by the innovative Green Genset Facility.

Advancements in solar technology have made solar generators more affordable over time. Although they may initially cost more than fuel generators, the investment is typically recouped within approximately two years. At this point, customers start benefiting financially as they no longer have to pay for their electricity and effectively receive it for free. This remarkable transformation in financial gain arises from the constant progress in solar power innovation. A substantial investment of approximately $5 million has been made by the A2EI to create solar generators and successfully establish 2,000 such generators in Nigeria.

Given the significant rise in fuel prices, the demand for solar generators has surged. Consequently, the current challenge revolves around expanding and growing the solar market in Nigeria. Local companies face a major hurdle in obtaining working capital to buy solar generators and then sell them to customers. To address this challenge, the A2EI has introduced the Green Genset facility, aiming to secure $100 million in funds. This facility will offer financial support to local distributors and implement an innovative digital tracking system to monitor repayment trends.

Popularity of solar generators has reached new heights across the globe.

Originally developed to tackle the issue of fuel generators in Nigeria, the solar generator has sparked interest beyond borders. Both South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, countries heavily dependent on fuel generators, have sought this alternative energy source. South Africa, in particular, has witnessed a significant decline in energy provision quality since 2023, resulting in a surge of load shedding incidents. The inadequate energy supply in South Africa has resulted in customers seeking alternative solutions. They turn to fuel generators as a means to overcome this issue. This creates a lucrative market opportunity for solar generators, which offers a cleaner and more cost-effective alternative.

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2 months ago

Solar as substitute to fuel generators. – Country faces a plethora of complex challenges due to small generators use. – Express your point of view.

2 months ago

It makes perfect sense to replace fuel generators with solar power. A clean, renewable energy alternative is offered by switching to solar power, which also helps to address these problems.

2 months ago

Fuel generators can be replaced by solar power. Little generator utilization has left the nation with several difficult difficulties. Utilizing renewable energy sources is what we must do in order to produce power. Solar assists because of this. Instead of using generators, it will be an option.