By all measures, Nigeria is gradually developing materials that can be used in solar production, including over time TV cells, batteries, conductors, which when produced locally would help to make the cost of solar low especially at a time the country is battling with power stability.
The International Energy Service Limited, IESL is one of the leading voices calling on the federal government to speed up plans for the development of renewable energy in the country. And Nigerians are eager to expedite actions aimed at addressing the challenges and the possibilities of deploying solar energy to compliment the traditional power generating system. According to the United Nations, 600 million Africans are without access to electric power. The organization said between 70 and 80 million out of this figure are Nigerians, which are mainly based in the rural areas.
The Federal Government’s Rural Electrification Programme was initiated 35 years ago, in 1981, and has not met with much success, since inception. That is why many have called on the federal government to deepen electricity supply to Nigerians by developing and operating a rural electricity framework, that will ensure sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity to the rural communities and by extension, ensure electricity access to about 75% of all Nigerians by 2020, in line with Vision 2020.
Industry experts are worried that the authorities are not doing enough to give the people access to electric power. The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of IESL, Diran Fawebi said The challenge we have here, is that we are not yet materials manufacturers in solar, generation. Those things are imported, thereby making the cost prohibitive such that an average Nigerian finds it difficult to install, He further said that we will only hope that in the long term in-country production will be achieved by home grown companies.
But how can the government go about this, Fawebi said the government needs to bring in foreign experts into the country to enhance the production of solar materials, he said it will require buying out companies and giving incentives to entrepreneurs willing to work industry players believe that industrialisation process in Nigeria is very slow, and they have blamed this on unfriendly government policies and actions that do not encourage manufacturing projects.
There are so many things you have to fend for on your own, and when you do your calculation, and add your profit, this tends to scare away people and it will have to take conscious effort fon the part of government to encourage entrepreneurs. Renewable is supposed to add to the energy mix of a country because, many countries in the word are looking up to renewable energy to supplement what they are getting through other sources. Electricity can be generated using, fuel, water or gas, now, each of these energy sources has its own risk, has its own merit and demerit, but in terms of the economics of renewables compared to the others like gas plants or water, these other ones are cheaper than renewable.