Why Africa should turn to solar energy


African nations have been asked to turn to solar energy, because it is the cheapest means to light up the continent – guaranteeing uninterrupted power supply to homes.

The Executive Director of Power Smart, Deji Sura, who disclosed this in Abuja, said mobile phones, which had been widely successful in Africa, changed the demand for power consumption in Africa.

“The mobile phone revolution is forcing millions of poor Africans to demand for electricity as more people now depend on their mobile phones to contact relatives, obtain general news and information.

“Small towns and villages that were not considered a priority by governments now have a huge demand for electricity,’’ he said.

According to him, thousands of villages in Africa are so remote and too spread apart that it will take decades and billions of investment in dollars to take electricity to all corners.

He noted that what Africa needed now was an alternative that was cheap, easy to deploy, decentralised and effective enough to provide electricity to millions of people in the shortest possible time.

Radiation advantage

The executive director said solar power was abundant and free because most of Africa sits on the earth’s equator which makes the sun’s radiation reach many parts of the continent including the remotest parts.

Sura also called on the government to adopt a more rational approach in order to make effective use of the energy from the sun.

He, however, urged the government to synergise with solar energy entrepreneurs, either by subsidising photovoltaic panels or enforcing favourable legislation to improve production of more solar panels.

He said that government could further accelerate the adoption of solar power by going into partnership with real estate agencies.

“Take a look at the housing project in Kaduna, more real estate agencies can also start modelling after government’s initial projects,’’ he said.

Sura, therefore, advised clients on the installation of photovoltaic panels on the rooftops of newly built homes.’’