High initial costs slow solar power utilisation in Nigeria

Off-grid and solar home systems can improve access to electricity but Nigerians avoid solar power utilization because of the high cost of initial capital outlay required.

Although, the initial cost of purchase is high, benefits derived from using solar systems such as low operational cost, reduced, no electricity bills for consumers and solar panels durability of 30 years with minimal maintenance cost are factors worth considering.

Nigeria is estimated to have over 90 million people living without electricity supply. This is a large potential market for solar home systems and Nigeria is also endowed with solar power. Yet, few homes and offices make use of solar power systems while majority see it as a dream.

Research shows that the high cost of installing solar power is mostly due to the 10 percent duty tariff imposed on solar panels by the Nigerian Customs Service, which the government initially approved to be duty-free.

Apart from the cost, majority of Nigerians in different states are ignorant of solar power systems and their benefits. Access to finance is also one of the major limitations to the rapid development of solar energy in Nigeria. There are currently over 200 solar companies in Nigeria with an untapped market.

Source: Business Day

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