Renewable energy is part of the physical structure of the planet, which is constantly replenished by natural means and cannot run out. It is found in the sunlight, wind, water and ocean waves as solar energy, hydropower, wind energy etc.
They are considered as alternatives to conventional fossil fuels – coal, natural gas and petroleum. They can produce power and electricity with little/no negative environmental impact; they reduce air pollution, cut global warming impact. Renewable energy also diversifies the economy, creates more jobs and industry, boosts agriculture and food production etc.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria is blessed with vast quantities of renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, tidal and wave energy. The electricity demand in Nigeria is estimated at 41%, although there were plans for increased electricity generation from 41% (5,500MW) to 50% (8,000MW) in 2018. The goal is to generate 40,000MW electricity by 2020 looks quite impossible.
Recently, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) came up with a long term plan to meet 20% of the nation’s electricity supply with Class 1 renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy and biomass by the year 2020.
Solar power seems to be the more acceptable in Nigeria in comparison with other renewable energy sources. It can produce clean electricity with little environmental impact from the manufacturing process, it is a cost effective and reliable solution to epileptic power supply in Nigeria, it is easy to maintain, and it has the capacity to improve economic growth and create jobs.
From CobraReview research on consumer’s response we deduced that most consumer are open to solar power option because that it would meet their electricity need for daily activities.
For instance, at Egbeda, Victor Dada, A digital marketer told CobraReview that he would prefer solar energy because electricity is a core part of his daily activities, as he has to be on the phone and laptop 24/7.
Another consumer, Oladimeji Yusuff, an Educationist in Akute, explained the need to upgrade Nigeria’s power sector and look for alternative sources with solar energy. He complained bitterly about running the generator for most daily activities.
Also, a consumer Abiola Ayodeji, in Abeokuta, asserted that since he suffers a lot from the epileptic power supply in his neighbourhood, he would get solar energy if it is affordable.
Some elucidated that solar energy for home application cannot be used as an effective substitute for the grid electricity i.e. using it for all home and outdoor appliances or equipment like electric stoves, pressing irons, air-conditions etc for 24hours. Some others opined that this is achievable if private investors can invest largely in electricity generation and distribution through solar; this will substitute electric grid totally such that one can use all home appliances at any time.
In my subsequent articles I will talk about solar power components, their functions, where to get them and affordability.