A national electrification rate of 56.5% means that over 80 million Nigerians live in areas that have no access to grid electricity, otherwise known as unserved or off-grid areas. Energy requirements for most off-grid rural communities typically range from small household applications to productive uses across agriculture, trade, and services. Most of these communities are typically characterised by lower economic activity and population density in comparison to urban areas, and are also in remote locations far away from the grid. Grid extension projects are expensive and time-intensive.
In Nigeria, these projects have been largely been under-implemented. The government, through the Rural Electrification Agency, has developed an Off-Grid Electrification Strategy to improve electricity access in these areas. The strategy presents a sustainable plan, deploying renewable energy technologies and technical assistance for projects aimed at increasing energy access. This approach to off-grid electrification has shown to provide more economic viability when compared to grid extension or the utilisation of alternative generating units powered by fossil fuels.
Off-Grid Electrification Strategy
The Off-Grid Electrification Strategy is to provide access to clean and sustainable electricity to unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria. The key objectives are:
- To develop a data-driven off-grid model for Nigeria that will become an exemplar for Sub-Saharan Africa;
- To promote the use of decentralised energy solutions to power households, communities, and businesses;
- To develop 10,000 mini-grids by 2023, which will provide power to 14% of the population;
- To provide a reliable power supply for 250,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- To provide uninterrupted power supply in federal universities and university teaching hospitals;
- To deploy five million solar standalone systems for residential and SMEs by 2023;
- To support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s climate change obligations under the Paris Agreement, with respect to promoting renewable and reducing carbon emissions.
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