By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
There’s excruciating pain across the country as Nigeria’s electricity supply continues to relapse to as low as 3,000 megawatts. This is against the 40,000 megawatts the country requires to function optimally.
Surprisingly, energy industry experts say that most of the generated electricity are unused, due to low load demand by Distribution companies, Discos.
There are also insinuations that gas constraints accounted for part of the loss of huge megawatts of generated capacity. What that essentially means is that Discos are turning back a chunk of the electricity they receive from Gencos, apparently because they can’t pay for them.
It accounts to why electricity supply to homes, apartments or offices in recent times has been abysmally poor.
In this kind of situation, a serious country shops for alternative options to get out of the woods.
However, a full-service IoT- enabled distributed utility company, Arnergy, says it has bail out options for the embarrassing situation Nigeria finds itself. The company dangles renewable energy as sweet carrot to bring smiles back on the faces of Nigerians who have had to pay for darkness for so long.
Renewable energy is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.
Anergy develops rooftop solar energy solutions for economic clusters in emerging markets and believes its tailor-made solutions will solve Nigeria’s poor electricity distribution palaver.
Apparently, to show seriousness in its desire to light up Nigeria, mainly from rural clusters, the distribute utility company said it has raised $9 million in a Series A round of funding led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, Norfund and ElectriFI funds, among others.
Founder and CEO of the company, Femi Adeyemo, said his company is excited to enter the next phase of development with investors that share the same vision of tackling the most pressing energy challenges across emerging market economies, particularly Nigeria.
He said: “We believe that energy needs in Nigeria have surpassed rudimentary requirements of low power utilisation and our product offerings are for reliability and not just access.
“Arnergy’s distributed renewable energy systems harness the combination of solar power, superior storage solutions and proprietary remote management technologies to deliver scalable, reliable and affordable energy solutions that are tailored to tackle issues related to intermittency and grid unreliability.”
He disclosed that since launch, Arnergy has delivered over 2MW of installed capacity and over 5MWh of storage capacity to business and residential clients across Nigeria and would magically raise this figure with the funding.
Adeyemo also said Arnergy’s market scaling ambitions, fuelled by the influx of new capital, will include new business models and partnership opportunities, as well as consumer financing and channel expansion activities. He said it targeted verticals for the company’s 5KW modular systems will include small businesses, healthcare, hospitality, financial services, agribusiness and education.
Also speaking, Breakthrough Energy Ventures representative, Carmichael Roberts said Arnergy inherently understands the West African market and its need for power reliability.
He said: “Creating accessibility to reliable renewable energy sources is paramount to economic growth in this region. With Arnergy’s technology, we can significantly decrease carbon emissions and it’s a model that can be replicated all over the developing world.”
In the same vein, EVP, Clean Energy from Norfund said access to clean and stable energy is a prerequisite for job creation and development.
He said: “Norfund is proud to support the expansion of Arnergy which will provide Nigerian households and businesses on a weak-grid connection with a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power solution to meet their daily needs.”
ElectriFI Fund Manager, Dominiek Deconinck told Hi-Tech that: “ElectriFI, a EU-funded access to energy impact facility, is thrilled to join such a strong group of investors backing visionary entrepreneurs who will positively impact thousands of local businesses in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, CEO of Shell funded All On, Wiebe Boer, said: “This is a deal that is particularly exciting to us at All On as a Nigerian impact investor because it reinforces our belief that local energy companies like Arnergy with innovative Nigerian technology and business models can attract investments from global giants like Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Norfund and ElectriFI, and are ready and able to compete on a global stage.”
According to Damilola Ogunbiyi, the CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA: “I am delighted that Arnergy, a home grown company and one of the market leaders for off-grid energy in Nigeria, has reached this milestone to raise capital from such an impressive group of local and international investors. It is a validation of all the hard work the REA and all of our partners are doing to create an enabling environment for off-grid development.”