Nigerian innovations: Waste-to-energy solutions

2020-10-06 16:09:45
Nigerian innovations: Waste-to-energy solutions

Nigeria is the continent’s largest economy yet it faces a major electricity deficit. According to the World Bank, nearly 47% of Nigerians do not currently have access to grid electricity and even those who are connected, face usual power outages.

Solving this serious crisis provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs, says CEO of TradeDepot, Onyekachi Izukanne.

“Something I would be keen to explore, if I had the opportunity, is waste-to-energy conversion,” added Izukanne. “I really believe our energy gap is an important opportunity.

With the right model, you can drive energy conversion and deploy it on a small-scale basis to SMEs in urban areas, especially manufacturing set-ups,” he remarked.

Izukanne is of the opinion that while stable electricity is definitely a top priority for the Nigerian government, the private sector will have to play a major role in providing solutions to this challenge.

Even though the government began the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan back in March 2017, which had stable power supply at its core, not sufficient progress has so far been made.

Nigeria suffers from regular, unscheduled power outages and the approximate cost of the energy shortages is the equivalent of 2% of GDP. It is ranked as one of the most serious constraints for the private sector.

Unfortunately, waste to energy solutions do not receive as much publicity as do other sustainable energy generation solutions.

It has had some good success in Europe but in Africa, there are only a few that are currently viable, according to the Africa Report.

In 2019, a study was concluded by a research team from the Glasgow Caledonian University that anticipated that residual waste in Abuja and Lagos could potentially generate 54 GWh/year and 475 GWh/year respectively; sufficient to power over 11,000 and 94,000 homes.

“My bias would be to look at the technology that can drive the conversion, specifically for urban small- to medium-scale manufacturing,” added Izukanne.

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