OFF GRID SOLAR SECTOR

Nigeria climate innovation center
Image

FOCUS AREA

In Nigeria, a majority of people lack access to electricity or have very poor access to the grid. Businesses throughout all economic sectors cite electricity as one of the main obstacles in their operations, and suffer significant revenue loss due to frequent blackouts power unreliability. This energy gap has negative impacts including job unemployment, socio-economic underdevelopment, and climate change.

In Nigeria, a majority of people lack access to electricity or have very poor access to the grid. Businesses throughout all economic sectors cite electricity as one of the main obstacles in their operations, and suffer significant revenue loss due to frequent blackouts power unreliability. This energy gap has negative impacts including job unemployment, socio-economic underdevelopment, and climate change.


TECHNOLOGIES

There is a wide range of off-grid solar technologies that include:

  • Lighting products: These provide access to basic lighting services and mobile phone charging and include different models of portable lanterns that replace candles and polluting, expensive kerosene.
  • DC home appliances: There is an increasing number of TVs, radios, fans, and even refrigerators that run of direct current (DC), which are more energy efficient, therefore reducing the total power needs.
  • Solar home systems: These are stand-alone systems that provide the necessary elements to generate and use electricity in a home. They range from basic plug&play kits to larger rooftop systems typically installed in urban households. Depending on the size and purpose, they may include solar panels, wiring, bulbs, home appliances, batteries, remote monitoring and payment mechanisms, charge controllers and inventers.
  • Micro and Mini-grids:They are isolated grids that can operate autonomously without being connected to the national grid. Typically they include solar panels or a hybrid generation system (eg. Solar+back-up diesel generators), storage systems, a distribution network that supplies electricity to a localized group of customers.
Image

Image

APPLICATIONS

Solar off-grid applications are limited by the size of the solar generation system and include:

  • Domestic applications:To power all kinds of household appliances and provide light at home.
  • Social applications:To power schools, hospitals, and public areas, and enable health services in remote rural areas including vaccine refrigerated storage, night-time deliveries, or emergency responsiveness.
  • Productive uses:Solar will be particularly relevant for economic development in rural areas to provide power to commercial and industrial activities with no or poor access to the grid. Innovation is constantly evolving, and some of the applications seen so far include:
  • Agribusiness:Solar-powered solutions
  • Commercial:Business models providing solar-based services including access to internet, mobile phone charging, refrigeration, tv screening, or food preparation.
  • Industry:solar powered artisanal workshop tools such as welding, AC to DC equipment conversion, water heating/cooling.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

To build the demand and make solar off-grid technologies and applications available and accessible to potential customers, a suite of enabling ecosystem services is needed throughout the value chain, including

  • IT support: Specialized software, data management systems, and hardware compatibility for payment (including Pay-as-you-go, and fintech solutions), remote control and monitoring, Internet of Things, or electronics integration.
  • Distribution systems: Such as drones, last-mile distribution business models, and reverse logistics.
  • End-of-life product management: product and components recycling.
  • Awareness: Mobile apps to educate customers
Image