Solar is the Future of Energy in Nigeria – Executive Director, Gennex Technologies

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Gennex Technologies was founded by a seasoned team of power system engineers and energy executives with experience in engineering, business development and executive management in energy and power sector. There team is experienced in power development, manufacturing, financing, construction and supply chain. The team has been involved in renewable energy projects with significant experience in designing and operating Solar Parks and Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) systems.

There core business function includes electrical design, structural design, product supply, installation, operation and maintenance. Gennex designs, manufactures and supplies Solar panels, batteries, auto grid sensing Universal Inverters for microgrid, on-/off-grid and hybrid applications. They also supply solar mounting systems and other balance of plant equipment. With their on-grid and off-grid hybrid auto-sensing inverter, clients have the freedom of deploying their own microgrid and energy storage system in their own set of application in industrial, commercial or residential settings.

Executive Director, Engineering and Sales, Mr. Tunji Tayo

BRANDINFO caught up with its Executive Director, Engineering and Sales, Mr. Tunji Tayo during the official visit of Bank of Industry top officials to Petrocam Solar Powered Filling station in Lagos executed by Gennex Technologies.  Tayo speaks on the plan of the firm to establish Gennex Solar Academy, the usage of solar in Nigeria and other typical issues. Excerpt !

Tell us briefly about Gennex Technologies

Gennnex Technology is a renewable energy company which specializes in rendering solar power services. We do installations, sales of solar system packages and we are also planning on training. We are setting up Gennex Solar Academy where industry specialists will be trained to help develop the solar energy industry in Nigeria.

Apart from the Petrocam Solar Power filing station executed by your firm, can you tell us some other jobs you have done?

We have done an installation for the residence of Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu in Delta state. We have also done installation for Techno Oil and several residential houses in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja among others.

What is your current capacity?

We can definitely deliver at whatever capacity clients demand.

What is your assessment of the usage of Solar Power in Nigeria?

 It is still an industry in its infancy. It is just beginning to take off. Before it was inverter and battery during the early 90s and people used it for several years.  Solar is the next thing and people are beginning to realize that solar is the way to go especially with the current epileptic power supply in the country. The major constrain with solar is cost. I believe that with improve technology which will result in price reduction the usage of solar power will greatly improve. Even do, presently, the solar panels are getting cheaper and more people will be going solar.

What do you think could be responsible for low usage of solar power in Nigeria?

It is two things that are responsible for that. The first thing is cost. You need a lot of money to set up its infrastructure, but you will greatly enjoy it ones you have it in place. It is just like somebody that has built a house; the house can even outlive the person. The same thing is applicable to solar power if it is properly done. Solar is an assets and once you invested in it you will enjoy it for so many years. The panel will still be there and active for so many years. Solar power is capital intensive at the start, but the cost is gradually dropping and there is also finance mechanism we have at Gennex Technologies to help address that.

Another challenge that is holding people back is the issue of technical competence. If you have a friend who have done solar and he tells that it did not work, naturally you would not want to put so much money into it. We have also been addressing that at Gennex Technologies. We have been very careful with what we do and how we do it. More importantly like I said we are starting a solar academy to help train both out own staff and the general public.

There are some solar training centers in the country but most of them only train people for two days or weeks. It is definitely a joke because it will take some months to do a thorough training about solar energy. We want to have our own as a proper training academy. We would even have trainers from abroad. It would be in form of a technical school with its own programme both from the theoretical and practical aspect. There will be a lot of practical training whereby students or participants will go to the field and carry out installations before we will certify them as being capable.

What kind of support does Gennex Technologies need from Bank of Industry (BOI)?

We are looking for collaboration with the BOI. For instance, we hope to partner with them regarding our Solar Power Academy so that together with them as well as other industry stakeholders we can take solar to much higher level in Nigeria.

Also, we have the vision of making sure most of the solar system components are produce in Nigeria. We have started with the solar mounting-rails. Solar mounting-rails are aluminum rails used to mount the solar panels.   We now produce those ones in Nigeria. We want to move further by also producing inverters, even the solar panels and others. By the time we start producing this in Nigeria, it will create jobs, the prices of the equipments will drop and it will also save the scarce foreign exchange. So these are the areas we hope to collaborate with BOI on a medium and long time.

What is the future of solar power in Nigeria?

The future of solar power in Nigeria is very bright. The future of solar power is the future of the world, but the earlier we realise it in Nigeria the better for us. It is one major area of interest globally right now and billions of dollars are being invested in solar technology. Research is going on everyday to improve inverters, solar panels and batteries. The earlier we recognize that it is the future we can embrace now the better for us as a country.

How do you think government can encourage the usage of solar power in Nigeria?

Firstly government needs to help with information dissemination. Secondly, government has to empower different companies who are doing things that related to solar irrespective of the quantity they produce. Solar system is an assembly of components. Whoever is doing one of these components is making a contribution and that contribution must be encourage so that such person can now make it available for the industry at all time.

Where should we be expecting to see Gennex Technologies in the next few years?

We are very passionate about developing capacity for solar industry and this is because of two reasons. Our business model cannot succeed without capacity because there is a limit to what few people can do. A country of over 180 million people is a very huge market. So we need a lot of capable people to make thing happen in Nigeria as far as solar in concern. Gennex Technologies is very passionate about developing the technical capacity and that is one of our visions.

We also hope to start producing as many as those solar system components as possible in Nigeria.

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