17 April 2019

Nigeria: Deploying Alternative Energy in Homes Will Make DISCOs Accountable

The Chief Executive Officer, VICMO, a solar energy firm based in Lagos, Olufemi Adebowale Vicmo, has said the power situation in Nigeria will not improve until Nigerians try another means of generating energy.

In a chat with The Guardian, Vicmo said: "One of the solutions for Nigeria is if individuals can afford install solar energy systems in their homes. Once you install it, you don't need power from the grid or generator and a standard solar energy can last for 40years. The only service require is cleaning the solar panel. The battery itself lasts for 20years if it is properly installed. That is the only way we can solve the problem of Nigeria electricity.

"I spoke with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and he said the government only produce 10% of all Nigeria needed and they don't have the finance to produce the rest. Apart from that, the government does not know the total output of what we are using in Nigeria and as long as we don't know the total output, we are only estimating.

He noted that Nigerians may not have the privilege to enjoy constant power supply unless there is change in disposition towards energy generation.

On the need for energy management, he said: "For instance, the fan we use in Nigeria is 179 watts and if solar energy is installed without changing the fan, the solar energy will fail; we have products produced before the advent of the new technology and we are still using same measurement.

The new ceiling fan capacity is 36w, then it means that dividing 179 by 36, it means that we will get at least four pieces of fan consuming the amount of energy that only one usually consumes".

He then urged the government to increase consumer sensitisation on energy management as well as create conducive environment that will aid adoption of the alternative energy.

On how solar panels and other components can be effectively maximize considering its deployment in major household and agencies of government, Vicmo said: "Before you install a solar panel, you have to audit the house; once that is done, you will know the total output. Calculate the angle which is between 30 to 60 degrees and you will get the maximal power from the solar panels.

"The sun is coming from the east which requires the panel to face that direction but most of the panels are installed facing west or south depending on the roof of the house, it means that it starts generating electricity from 11a.m to 3p.m instead of from 8a.m to 6a.m."

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