L-:R: Head of Project Services, Soventix, Gert Röttgers, Chairman, Gentec EPC, Deepak Khilnani and CFO, Soventix, Claas Fierlings, at the joint venture signing ceremony held in Germany for the development of solar hybrid projects across Nigeria

Kasie Abone

Worried by the perennial energy crises in Nigeria, a German solar developer, SOVENTIX is partnering key Nigerian energy industry player and Cummins gas generators distributor, Gentec EPC to deliver solar energy solutions to Nigerians. The marriage which led to the birth of SOVENTIX Hybrid Limited is set to develop solar projects across Nigeria to the benefits of homes and businesses.

A soaring population of about 180 million and a meagre 4000 MW grid power availability place high demand for cost effective, reliable energy and competitive alternative energy supply solutions. Hence Nigerian market is viewed as one of the key solar growth markets across Africa.

“We are very excited about this partnership with SOVENTIX. Gentec is continually seeking to bring innovative and diversified energy offerings to the Nigerian market and we believe solar energy meets the customer requirements: Reliable, affordable and emission free power,” stated Deepak Khilnani, founder of Gentec EPC, at the signing ceremony in Germany. He added that, “the credibility, expertise and proven track record of the Soventix management team gave us a lot of confidence that SOVENTIX is the correct solar partner.”

SOVENTIX Hybrid will initially focus on industrial rooftop solar applications that synchronise with the existing generators or grid power systems. This model will enable industries to have an additional source of power generation at a lower price than diesel power, whilst also significantly reducing emissions. Phase II of the joint venture will also aim to develop national solar parks that feed clean energy into the Nigerian grid.

The beauty of solar energy is that the tariffs are fixed over a 20 year period given that there is no fuel input and very low maintenance costs, enabling industries to effectively plan their long term energy costs. Moreover, solar energy is already more competitive against fossil fuels with regard to pricing per kWh.

Given the significant shortfall of reliable power across Nigeria, at a residential, industrial and national grid level, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has canvassed for investments in solar energy to meet the nation’s plans of increased renewable power generation.

Although Nigeria has 12.5 GW of installed generation capacity, only 3500-5000 MW is typically available making Nigeria a country one of the countries with the lowest electricity per capita consumption levels globally.
“The lack of a reliable and affordable supply of electricity impacts every facet of life in Nigeria. Businesses routinely cite the cost of electricity as the principal drain on profitability and competitiveness. Schools and clinics often go without electricity or rely on costly diesel generators,” stated USAID.

“A reliable energy supply from renewable energy sources is becoming more important for African countries, particularly Nigeria. Since Africa in particular suffers deeply from the effects of climate change, ecological energy solutions gain importance. Combining cost savings with the ecological advantage, we see great potential for solar energy in Nigeria. We believe this will be a successful partnership combining Gentec’s established market presence and strong local service team in Nigeria with SOVENTIX’s comprehensive solar capabilities,” said Thorsten Preugschas, CEO of SOVENTIX.