Entrepreneur & CEO, Mezra International, Cidi Aliyu has shown interest in her willingness to partner with the federal government of Nigeria in the distribution of solar energy across the nation, in what she termed her “Passion for Energy Law”.
Ms. Cidi Aliyu (Mezra International) is aware that the African continent is turning more and more to renewable energy technologies, and in particular for photovoltaics (PV), to strengthen energy security, reduce price volatility, guarantee access to electricity for all and sustainably strengthen rapid economic growth.
With the opening of electricity production and distribution segments to private operators and new price reductions, solar PV (grid and off-grid solutions) now offers prompt and cost-effective means to provide contemporary energy services to over 600 million Africans that have no access to electricity.
Although Nigeria invests a lot of resources for a considerable expansion of the amount of electric power generated, the energy delivery infrastructure is insufficient to manage the country’s energy demand (considering a population of more than 150 million, the largest on the African continent). Also, the high price paid for the energy supplied by the national grid makes photovoltaic systems an excellent solution to solve the country’s energy crisis.
A gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources was launched with the plan called “Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP)” launched in 2006. The project has set a target of 500 MWp for photovoltaic solar energy by 2025; and the program called “Energizing Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE)”, aims to improve the framework of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Cidi further sited that complexities of the poorest continent in the world appear when it comes to energy. Africa is rich in energy sources, supplying around 19% of the world’s production of fossil fuels: a figure that contrasts with that of energy consumption.
African populations consume only 3. 2% of the world’s primary energy, which is the lowest per capita consumption by continent. Also, the majority of African countries still mainly use traditional biomass to access primary energy. The gap between production and consumption is a good illustration of the colonial heritage of economies that depend on exports of natural resources. The most interesting example is that of uranium, of which Namibia and Niger are among the largest producers in the world. However, there are only two nuclear reactors currently in commercial operation in Africa, both located in South Africa.
In 2014, half of the continent’s population, which stands at 1. 2 billion, do not have access to electricity. Nearly 730 million people used ineffective and dangerous cooking methods, with most harmful effects on the health of households, in particular, that of women and children. Energy bills are expensive in certain regions; northern Nigeria, for example, has the highest electricity rates in the world per household, sixty to eighty times more costly than in New York. When they exist, infrastructure is often in poor condition due to lack of adequate maintenance: theft of energy is not uncommon, as are illegal connections to electrical networks. This move as she (Cidi) has planned will take some time before reaching all regions of the country, but activities of installations will kick off as soon as possible.