Bridging Energy Exclusion Gap

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Lumos Nigeria, a renewable energy services company, recently came to the rescue of a teenager in dare need of electricity for her studies, writes Peter Uzoho

A few months ago, a picture of a female teenager, Miss Dele Rasheed Fathia, in Ondo State, who was doing her homework at night in her remote village, with the aid of illumination from a bank’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM) went viral in social media.

The picture undoubtedly attracted plethora of comments and bashing at the nation’s leaders for failing to deliver stable and sustainable electricity supply to the citizenry, resulting to such national embarrassment.

Fathia’s home and that of other children of her school age in their remote community lack basic electricity. This posed great challenge to them especially with their academics, as they struggle to cope without sustainable power supply.

Upon getting knowledge of the said picture and being touched by the determination of the young schoolgirl to continue to work hard in her academics despite limitations posed by lack of electricity, Lumos Nigeria, a solar energy company decided to come to her rescue.
Within 48 hours, the company immediately visited Fathia’s home to assess the level of electricity need in the area and without delay, installed a free solar-powered system for Fathia and her household.

However, Fathia’s story is nowhere strange in Nigeria as over 50 per cent of the country’s population lack electricity. Both individuals and businesses have to resort to spending their fortunes on buying and running petrol or diesel generators just to have electricity at homes and business places.

While these generators can serve the purpose which they were purchased, little attention is paid to the health and environmental hazards associated with their use.

Most shockingly, in many rural areas in the country, people still use candles and kerosene-powered lanterns as their sources of illumination, not minding the effects these obsolete energy sources will have on their eyes.

For decades, Nigerians have been lamenting the poor power situation in the country. Billions of dollars have been committed into the nation’s power sector without anything to show for it. Series of reforms have been done in the power sector but none has been able to change the narrative in the sector.

The unbundling of the Nigerian power sector and the eventual emergence of private entities in 2013, to serve as power generation and distribution companies respectively, have not performed any better.

The generation companies have an available capacity of about 8,000 megawatts (MW), with a transmission system which can only transmit about 5,000MW and a distribution network only capable of absorbing about 4600 MW.

Today, so many homes in the country still remain unconnected to the national grid, with its attendance poverty, backwardness, and under-development. The ones that have managed to be connected seldom get five hours power supply in a day.

Such failure by the on-grid power sources to give unhindered access to electricity to the populace has led to calls by experts for Nigeria to shift to renewable energy.

This, they believe will solve the issue of energy exclusion and also reduce the hazards associated to the use of biomass and other primitive sources of energy by rural dwellers.

Lumos Nigeria, is one of the few renewable energy companies with focus on using solar energy to democratise access to energy and transform communities.
This led it to intervene in the case of Fathia, where it has succeeded in solving a problem that would have scuttled her ambition.

“Fathia’s story epitomises the Nigerian ‘Can Do’ spirit in the face of any obstacle. We are pleased, as a company, to have supported Fathia’s quest to seek education and will continue to do more,” the Chief Executive Officer of Lumos Nigeria, Mrs Adepeju Adebajo explained.

Lumos Nigeria is part of Lumos Global, a renewable energy giant, and it offers clean, affordable solar power to a market of 40 per cent of Nigeria’s population who live within and off the electricity grid areas.

Adebajo, who is passionate about child education, added that solar power holds the potential for accelerated socio-economic growth across rural communities.

According to her, “it is very-easy-to-deploy, affordable and pollution-free alternative solution to Nigeria’s huge energy deficit and an answer to the need for constant electricity supply.

“At Lumos, we believe everyone has the right to enjoy a better quality of life offered by access to clean, affordable and reliable power. We remain committed to powering one home, one business, one community at a time.”

Over 100,000 households and businesses in Nigeria are already using the services offered by Lumos.
Lumos offers clean and affordable solar power to a market of 1.3 billion potential customers across the world, who live off the electricity grid.

It enables people to replace hazardous and expensive kerosene generators and lanterns with modern solar electricity that can power lights, cellphones, fans, computers, TVs and other compatible small electronic devices- giving you a better living.

By offering Solar Power as a Service, Lumos offers homes and small businesses a simple and affordable way to pay for electricity in small installments using their mobile phones.

The renewable energy firm believes everyone has the right to enjoy a better quality of life offered by access to clean, affordable and reliable electricity.

This, it makes possible through enabling off-grid customers to take control of their energy generation and usage; providing high-level customer support and technical service; and leaning on remote monitoring (m2m) and data intelligence to keep systems running smoothly and minimising the need for on-site technicians.

The company also achieves its energy accessibility agenda through designing durable, energy efficient, worry-free solar power systems, suitable for private usage.