Azuri has partnered with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) to launch its PayGo Solar Home Systems in Nigeria, a move meant to deliver affordable, clean energy to 20,000 rural households living without electricity.
The Nigerian Government’s ambitious Renewable Energy Policy aims to increase energy production from renewable energy sources from 13% of total electricity generation in 2015, to 23% in 2025 and 36% in 2030. This includes the goal to increase the percentage contribution of solar energy in the total energy mix.
Despite success stories in East Africa, renewable energy has yet to be widely adopted in Nigeria as an alternative power solution. Off-grid communities in Nigeria have relied on kerosene lanterns or candles for their energy needs, with many unable to purchase solar power systems outright owing to the high costs. Solar home systems offer an affordable and environmentally friendly option.
Azuri’s PayGo Solar Home systems have the capacity to power four LED bulbs providing up to 8 hours of lighting, a radio and a USB port with charging cables for mobile phones. Customers pay the monthly top-up rate via mobile money for 36 months after which time the unit can be unlocked and the customer owns the unit. It is pertinent to mention that such customers will be provided with options to upgrade to a larger system in what Azuri describes as its energy escalator pathway.
NDPHC is a government-funded initiative formed to add new capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply system. Azuri’s partnership with NDPHC highlights the Government’s efforts to support roll out of off-grid solar systems and its commitment to renewable technologies as a sustainable way to generate electricity for rural communities.
The deployment of 20,000 Azuri solar home systems is expected to create 500 direct jobs, including solar installer and agents (for a minimum of 24 months) and 5,000 indirect jobs. Small businesses will be able to stay open for longer hours after sunset, students can continue their studies in the evening and off grid families can charge phones or listen to radios in their own home.
Azuri has carried out successful pilots within several communities in Abuja, Kwara and Osun states, installing nearly 200 solar home systems. The positive feedback from customers who have been making monthly payments is an encouraging indication that Nigerians are willing to pay for a reliable, affordable and easy-to-use source of energy.
Following this launch, NDPHC through the project plans to start a phased rollout in northern Nigeria, followed by a nationwide deployment, targeting the 70m Nigerians living in off-grid communities with clean, sustainable and reliable solar home solutions.
Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, VP of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said: “Nigeria is committed to improve accessibility to power, especially solar power for the people.”
“Let me state at this point that NDPHC is actively involved in the presidential initiative on rural solar home lighting systems where 20,000 units of solar home systems in under-served rural areas with no access to grid electricity supply is being implemented,” said Chiedu Ugbo, MD, NDPHC.
“Nigeria’s commitment to increasing its renewable energy mix marks an opportunity for a reliable solar alternative to address the challenges of energy access,” Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said. “Azuri is delighted to be working with NDPHC and the Government of Nigeria for solar home systems to meet the immediate power requirements of rural communities.”
NDPHC, a private firm, is mandated to manage the power projects called National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), an emergency intervention scheme to tackle the power problem in Nigeria.