Boosting renewable energy entrepreneurship

  • Jul 15, 2020
  • The Nation

Global warming is forcing nations, including Nigeria, to open their minds to new possibilities. This has emboldened non-profit organisations to begin the campaign to enable Nigerians to maximise the potential of the renewable energy sector to attain a green technology hub status.

They are pushing new renewable energy technologies that have been tried in other parts of the world. These include off-grid and local grids, rooftop solar, batteries, large- scale solar, which are known for energy efficiency and as means of electrification; lifting people out of poverty and reducing emissions.

Two of these non-profit organisations are the Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (NCIC) and All On. They work with some energy start-ups to promote innovations and entrepreneurship.

They have been pursuing renewable energy, especially solar. As a result, a new wave of investors and social enterprises have sprung up and new businesses and increasing the availability of products tailored to off-grid domestic energy customers

Start-ups are taken through various stages of product development, including training, physical prototype development and testing.

Speaking during an online pitch event for 12 renewable energy entrepreneurs, the Chief Executive, NCIC, Bankole Oloruntoba, said Nigeria has a huge potential for solar power and other renewable energies.

Buoyed by this, NCIC is undertaking a campaign to ginger more entrepreneurs to explore opportunities in the booming sector and support them to launch their businesses. It provides young entrepreneurs with deep dive business coaching and technical assistance.

After the training the young entrepreneurs are exposed to funders to support them financially to power their start-ups.

All On, on the other hand, provides services, such as business and technology training, to entrepreneurs.

Its Chief Executive, Dr. Wieber Boer, said the renewable energy sector presents opportunities for investment.

According to him, Nigeria has been facing tough times with shortage of power. He said his organisation was supporting start-ups to use renewable energy to meet their energy demands.

He said the role of his organisation is to encourage Nigerians to adopt innovative, sustainable technologies.

The key note speaker, who is the Executive Secretary, FC4S, Emmanuel Etaderhi, urged more efforts towards developing local capacities to manufacture solar energy products and components.

According to him, renewable energy will help Nigeria on the path to inclusive and sustainable industrial development, as well as make the country’s economy greener.

He said the sector was expected to contribute to creating new jobs and support entrepreneurship in the renewable energy sector.

The pitch marked the end of a five-month incubation programme of NCIC & All On designed to identify, train and empower idea-stage entrepreneurs in renewable energy.

One of them is Afrinet Power, whose Chief Executive, Nonso Asuoha, said the start-up provides a unique pay-as-you-go solar power model that makes it easy for Nigerians to enjoy clean electricity with less financial burden.

By using renewable energy to provide electricity access to the unserved/underserved, he added that Afrinet seeks to reduce emissions from fossil energy sources to protect the environment and help achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

The Founder/Chief Executive, Bin Energy, Kalio Sobelemabo, said the start-up uses organic waste that would otherwise go to landfills to produce methane gas for power generation.

The Chief Executive, Climate Innovation Motors, Emmanuel Okpala, said the firm provides sustainable and climate friendly transport solutions through the development, sales and management of solar Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations for homes, offices and public use.

MySolarBi Chief Executive Israel Faleye said through its platform, users could save 20 percent less than market averages on their solar installation costs while installers could save up to 67 per cent on their soft costs.

He added that MySolarBid users would be able to compare notes across veriûed solar installers and ûnancing options with access to information on solar technology.

Other start-ups founders who spoke included the Chief Executive, Neigh Energy, Anifowoshe Clement; founder, Homefort Energy, Opeyemi Owosho; founder, Quadcycle, Nonso Osakwe, Chief Executive, Quadloop, Dozie Igweilo; the Chief Executive, Supanergy, Olushola Tutuola; founder, OBIIH Rotary Inverter Generators, Harrison Obi; founder, Sollef Soleff and founder/CEO, Rouz Energy, Dumebi Ezedebego.

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