Africa’s renewable energy industry

2023-01-29 22:40:05
Africa’s renewable energy industry

Imagine being able to purchase clean energy cheaply and through cryptocurrency. Sounds futuristic? But it’s a possibility that OneWattSolar, a startup based in Lagos wants to achieve.

The clean energy outfit has come up with a way of allowing thousands of Africans to pay for solar energy using blockchain tokens without having to pay for the solar system infrastructure, which is funded through financial backers.

It was a concept Victor Alagbe, the company’s vice president of operations and blockchain strategy, had been thinking on when reading about Elon Musk.

“I did some writing on Tesla and so I thought it is sunny most of the time here, especially in the northern parts where it is quite arid,” recalled Alagbe who is a former business writer.

“So why don’t we use this to power our own electricity… many Nigerians cannot really afford to set up their own solar systems.

“They can’t afford the start up cost so most people would rather go for generators which is not economical when you think of maintenance costs,” Alagbe said.

Africa’s renewable energy industry

The young tech company is part of a boom in the renewable energy industry across Africa.

A joint venture between Abuja based Motir Services Nigeria and US based DuSable Capital Management will power 180, 000 homes in Nigeria in a 100MW solar project worth $175m.

In Morocco - the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant called the Noor-Ouarzazate complex - will power more than one million homes when complete later this year.

It is hoped the complex will decrease Morocco’s dependence on oil by about 2.5 million tons per year and reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year in the country, according to the World Bank who has financed the project’s construction.

Ghana is also gearing up its renewable energy capabilities.

In 2018, the West African nation announced a goal of increasing renewable energy consumption from currently one percent to 10 percent of energy usage by 2030.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia announced the same year that all government institutions would run on solar power to reduce energy consumption costs.

As African nations move towards cleaner and reliable energy, startups like OneWattSolar could prove profitable.



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