‘Off-grid Solar Solutions Critical to Survival of Nigeria’s Power Sector’

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Ejiofor Alike
Stakeholders who gathered in Lagos at the recent inauguration of the off-grid solar power solutions for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) by Tellco Europe Nigeria, have identified off-grid solar power as the panacea to Nigeria’s energy deficits.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman of TellCo Europe Nigeria and former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Wale Omole argued that Nigeria can solve her energy crisis through renewable energy.

“Renewable energy is an inextricable growing pathway of the future supply mix now disparagingly needed for Nigeria, without which future sustainable economic growth and development will be a mirage,” he said.

“It is sad to note that, significant amount of the economy is continually powered largely by small-scale generators (10–15 Gigawatts) and more than 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population have limited or no access to the grid. Most citizens of this country, power their businesses and homes, depending on fossil fuel at a frightening cost of nearly $14 billion or N5 trillion yearly, with added negative public health and other socio-economic hazards!” he added.

Omole noted that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) had acknowledged the need for the development of robust off-grid alternatives to complement the grid network.
“Tellco Europe Nigeria is unveiling our strategic roadmap for up-scaling the powering of MSMEs – the engine room of economic transformative growth and development, beyond the 30 per cent scenario, through our well-tested off-grid solutions that are programmed to unlock a never yet seen scale of massive powering of this sector in a most efficient, affordable (pocket friendly) and sustainable manner,” Omole added.

In his address, the Managing Director of Tellco Europe Nigeria, Dr Victor Fodeke said with about 100 million Nigerians and 80 per cent of schools in darkness, there was the need for an efficient alternative source of energy, which he said Tellco Europe Nigeria provides.
He said the technology would help eliminate global warming and improve Nigerians’ health.

“Where power is lacking, development takes the back stage. With Tellco Europe and Tellco Europe Nigeria, Nigeria is telling the world that Africa is ending energy poverty,” he said.
He said solar powered energy systems were not being well used in Nigeria because of the poor quality of available products.
“We are blazing the trail with the right technology that is affordable and pocket-friendly. You’re going to see the lighting up of Africa, which will no longer be referred to as the dark continent,” he said.

Also speaking, the Co-founder of Tellco Switzerland, Dr. Omar Fischer said the solar power units were affordable, and were designed to empower the local communities.
He said the international partners were open to building an assembly plant in Nigeria and in transferring the technology.
Fischer added that the project would not only create jobs as installation and maintenance of the units would be done by Nigerians, but would end energy poverty.
In his remark, the Chairman of Catch Energy, one of the partners, David Collett said the system’s batteries and solar panels could last for over 10 years.