Nigeria has the world’s largest minigrid market valued at $9 billion and if explored, it could provide electricity to millions in country who are currently without access to energy.
This was a statement made by the CEO of PyroGenesys Ltd, Simon Ighofose, winners in the round six of the InnovateUK KTN’s Energy Catalyst during the launch of the round nine of the energy funding scheme.
Citing a survey by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Ighofose said: “51% Of the Nigerian population lives in rural areas far from the national grid. This means there are over 80 million people in Nigeria’s rural areas without access to power.
“Development of off-grid alternatives to complement the grid creates a $9bn (N3.2 trillion) yearly market opportunity for minigrids,” said Ighofose.
He also noted that Nigeria produced 25 tons of cassava, rice and maize wastes yearly which could generate 18 terawatts hour of renewable energy equivalent to 2000 megawatts daily.
The Regional Lead of the Global Alliance Africa, Sophie West, said for the InnovateUK KTN’s round 9, applicants will get a $24.5m (about N10.1bn) grant for energy innovations, with over $73.6m grants disbursed for 360 projects in eight rounds already.
Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Ahmad Salihijo, said the three key drivers for energy access are technical expertise, funding and investor friendly environment.
“This particular brokerage event by InnovateUK is timely as it is designed to connect players to opportunities both locally and globally,” he noted.
The Knowledge Transfer Manager of UKInnovate, Joshua Adedeji, said the pitch which closes 10 August would require potential Nigerian innovators to partner with a UK innovator to submit pitches on energy, transforming energy access and gender equality and social inclusion.
The Daily Trust reports that Dave Nwosu, whose Nevadic Ltd received $1.2m in the eighth round, said the group was developing a sodium ion battery system for portable solar home systems which is cheaper than the lithium ion battery.
“Very soon, Nigeria will become the testing ground for this innovation. With our partnership, we are making the manufacturing of batteries a reality in Nigeria,” he said.