In our daily lives, we are surrounded by one of the most important innovations of all time, electricity. While it is now a force of energy used all over the world, people had lived for centuries without it. Since it’s discovery, the chances that humans will thrive without it is highly unlikely. The moment the idea was presented to the world, it changed everything.
The diverse use of electricity has been so much embedded in our daily lives that it is probably difficult to live without it. A proof of this is evident everywhere and you are part of the proof as you are likely reading this article on a device powered by electricity. It is not only used to switch on the lights in your house and allow you to conveniently cook, clean and go about your day or work, but it also involves supporting of a lot of different industries. It is safe to say that the importance of electricity for supporting life cannot be overstated.
However, with the importance of this invaluable innovation, it is very unfortunate that the access to electricity in some part of the world is still very limited. A focus on Africa and in particular Nigeria shows that only about 45% (85 million) of Nigeria’s population (190 million) have access to electricity supply. The national grid is limited in its reach and it would take decades to reach most remote areas in Nigeria.
However, the provision within the law that allows for individuals to generate electricity not exceeding 1000kW in aggregate without a need for license has changes the situation for the people without access to electricity. This exemption to holding a license favours energy generation from renewable resources, empowering a group of individuals to invest in stand-alone or off-grid power generating systems. These off-grid power generating systems include using solar energy.
Because Nigeria lies within a high sunshine belt and as a result, solar radiation is fairly well distributed within the country. It has total solar radiation that varies from about 12.6 MJ/m per day in the coastal latitude to about 25.2 MJ/m2 per day in the far North. An average of 19.8 MJm–2 day-1 and average sunshine hours of 6hrs per day. With this, Nigeria can obtain 100 % of its electricity demand via solar power.
One company that saw the opportunity and is changing lives by helping to bring this invaluable innovation to households that lack electricity in Nigeria is Greenlight Planet. Greenlight plannet is a global provider of solar home energy products and has successfully delivered clean energy access to more than 1 million households ( over two million individuals) in Nigeria. Greenlight Planet is a for-profit social business that designs, distributes, and finances solar home energy with an under-served population in mind.
Speaking on Greenlight Planet’s journey in Nigeria so far, Mr. Dhaval Radia, said, “Over the last 7 years, we have sold more than 500,000 life-changing Sun King solar solutions in Nigeria through strategic distribution partnerships and our own pay-as-you-go distribution channel. Customers have been quick to recognize that an investment in a Sun King product more than pays for itself over time, with several customers experiencing dramatic improvements in household savings, increased productivity for their small businesses and additional study-time for their children. The quality and reliability of Sun King solar home systems have helped us build a loyal customer base over time. While we are humbled by the warm acceptance of our products so far, for us this is just the beginning to reaching the 101 million individuals still living without basic access to electricity”
Greenlight Planet tells the story a group of individuals that envision a world where access to clean, affordable energy allows every individual an opportunity to transform their lives and truly achieve their individual human potential.