By Princewill Ekwujuru
The Federal Government has been urged to enact a compulsory power policy that will compel the deployment of solar energy system in private homes as a remedy for power generation and supply shortages in the country.
A clergy, Mr. Adebayo Johnson, made the call in a chat with Vanguard while speaking on the possibility of using solar energy as alternative power source to augment electricity supply especially in residential homes, to reduce the suffering of Nigerians with regard to the epileptic power supply situation in the country.
Johnson, who disclosed that he has been using solar energy in his house for about 18 months, said he has recorded tremendous improvement in power situation in his home.
Against this backdrop, he said he is canvassing for the use of solar power because people wonder how he powers the gadgets in his home, despite the fall in supply in the country. “I keep telling them it’s solar; but they wouldn’t believe. For this reason, I took it upon myself to explain to Nigerians the workability of solar energy system in power supply.”
According to him, “I noticed that in the past there are some solar components that are sold in the market that are now obsolete, and today, there are new components that have come on line that helps in solar generation and makes it so efficient and effective.”
Continuing, he said: “For instance, before now there was the PWM controller which gives you about 30 or 38 percent of the sun rays that you can harvest for your battery bank. But right now, we have MPPT controller that can harvest as much as 98 percent and with this 98 percent we can go as much as having so much energy that can go into your battery bank. What does it take? You get battery bank, an inverter and then you get your solar panels.”
Johnson, who is irked by the incidence of high telephone tariff, attributed this to the inability of telecommunication companies to seize the opportunity provided by solar energy to power their base stations. He said: “Most importantly, my challenge is the communication companies which call rates are high, and all of them are looking for a way to reduce this telephony cost. But it’s not possible for them because the price of diesel and petrol are expensive and when you get to any of the sites you notice that their generators are always running, but they can deploy solar system in these locations.
“If the solar panels are there, with batteries already there and both are incorporated into the system it will work and Nigerians will have drastic reduction on call rates. This is also applicable to Automated Teller Machine, ATM, most of the ATMs you see are located in a place where the bank is, and they have generator nearby because of the fact that power is not always available. But solar can be deployed to that location and the banks can put the ATM there and you power it with the solar system and it will run.”
Johnson further recalled: “I traveled to Yola, and half of my journey into the Koma hills there was no light at all so there was no communication. There was no way to talk, no way to make calls; nothing was working there because there was no light. The few cell sites we saw there couldn’t work because they were running on diesel, even getting fuel there was also difficult.