The Nigerian off-grid solar market is among the fastest-growing in Africa, increasing at a 22 per cent average annual rate during the past five years, according to a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group and All On, a Shell-funded impact investment company.
The report, however, said the country had underperformed its peers in Africa in penetration of off-grid solar and had a long way to go before its solar market could be considered robust.
It said, “Nigeria’s installed photovoltaic panel per capita amounts to only about 1 watt compared to an average of 8 watts in similar emerging market, indicating a big opportunity for further growth in the country.
“Given the dynamics favouring solar deployment in the country, Nigeria’s PV per capita could reach 5-8GW by 2030.”
According to the report, the use of solar energy is significantly improving education, health outcomes and food security in Nigeria.
The study was conducted to analyse the impact of solar energy implementations on health, education and food security outcomes as well as its effect on the environment and commercial activity in the country, according to a statement.
It assessed the developmental benefits that Nigeria had already realised from its limited solar installations and what impact could be achieved from scaled deployment by engaging six different user groups across five socioeconomic dimensions.
A survey of Nigerian primary health centres with solar electricity showed that they witnessed a 60 to 70 per cent improvement in antenatal care coverage and a 40 to 60 per cent reduction in vaccine waste.
Commenting on the findings, the Managing Director and Partner, BCG (West Africa), Tolu Oyekan, said, “Installing solar in 18,000 PHCs that do not otherwise have access to reliable power could increase antenatal care coverage from current levels of 50 to 70 per cent of pregnant women and with improved refrigeration, vaccine wastage would be reduced by as much as 20 per cent.”