BoI targets 100,000 homes in solar scheme

Rasheed Olaoluwa, MD BoI

Rasheed Olaoluwa, MD BoI

THE Bank of Industry (BoI) has expressed commitment to promote alternative energy solutions to solve electricity problems in about 100,000 homes across the country.

The solar for homes scheme initiated in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is expected to cover an average of 200 homes each in Anambra, Delta, Gombe, Kaduna, Niger and Osun States in the first phase.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry, Rasheed Olaoluwa, who disclosed this at the presentation of cheques to off-grid solar home system providers in Lagos recently described Nigeria’s current electricity situation as ‘unsatisfactory’.

Olaoluwa said the BOI remained committed to make a difference in the lives of Nigerians, and to make positive impact on their economic lives, hence the need to promote an alternative energy initiative.

He said the company has therefore start-off with the provision of long-term financing for the installation of off-grid solar home systems in six communities in a pilot scheme.

“Each home will have sufficient solar energy to power three three LED light bulbs, one electric fan, one Radio/TV set and, of course, mobile phone charging. These are the basic energy needs of the average rural family. What we are initiating is a commercially sound model for delivering power to Nigerian rural homes at affordable rates, to provide a long-term alternative to the problematic national grid,” he said.

Olaoluwa however urged the generation and distribution companies not to worry about the initiative, adding that there was enough pent-up demand for energy in cities and major towns to keep them very busy over the next decade.

He stressed: “We want our rural communities to take control of their energy generation and to pay only for the energy they use. Our medium-term vision is to have 100,000 homes installed with solar systems in the next five years, through a combination of micro-grid and stand-alone solar home systems. This is essentially a programme aimed at poverty alleviation and rural economic development,”

The project is expected to be implemented in partnership with GVE Projects Limited and Arnergy Solar Limited, which were selected from eight companies that responded to its RFP in 2014.

He lamented that the present generation which is less than 4,000 mega watts (MW) relative to the electricity demand of about 40,000MW, for a leading African economy like Nigeria, with a population of 170 million people, is grossly inadequate.

The BOI chief noted that the initiative was in line with the international clean energy agenda adding that the G7 leading industrial nations last month agreed to decarbonize the global economy by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of this century.

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