New solar online portal highlights outstanding PV reference projects in Nigeria and presents qualified solar suppliers

In Nigeria, the attitude towards solar power is still mitigated today as it is often heard that “Solar doesn’t work” because some initial projects may have underperformed in the past. But never mind, the market is professionalizing: Actual professional solar projects realized by the Nigerian solar industry for mid-sized power users such as companies, hospitals and schools show that Nigeria is catching up to the international trend with a range of larger solar power projects, both in distributed and centralized market segments.

Solar is already competitive now.  In recent years, a silent revolution has been going on with solar power as it reached price parity with generator-based power production in a growing number of geographies. In many cases using solar energy has become cheaper than running diesel or gasoline generators, so solar power allows the user to save money, also in Nigeria. However, many Nigerians are not yet aware of the new specific competitiveness of solar power with diesel and gasoline generators, although this is in fact the prime news of the day.

The new customer online portal neutrally informs mid-sized power consumers about the opportunities of using solar power, also in combined diesel PV hybrid solutions. It is a market place where private and institutional customers interested in solar power can meet qualified solar suppliers who showcase their work in Nigeria with reference projects. The portal presently showcases more than 20 mid-scaled solar projects realized by 9 qualified Nigerian solar companies; and more companies and their projects will be published soon.

The website also features an easy-to-use "PV Calculator" that compares the costs of solar power with the currently existing diesel generation costs for an individually planned PV project. Made by a team of German experts, the tool automatically calculates the LCOE, Payback, Equity IRR, Project IRR, NPV from just a few input data. It thereby generates an individual economic approximation of the considered solar investment for the user.

For interested institutional investors or private solar investors in the wider general public, the portal also offers a vendor-independent, neutral telephone hotline operated by REAN. Under this hotline the interested parties can ask for personal guidance and advice or discuss technical economic topics of solar power.

Finally, a video on the homepage explains the goals of the initiative. The partners of the portal also provide the website and the activities planned for 2019 during a webinar on November 27 from 2 – 3:30 pm. The free registration is possible here. The webinar language is English.

The project was initiated by ideas into energy together with eclareon and with Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), see also here. The initiative is supported by the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and is co-funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

The development costs for the "PV Calculator" were also co-funded by the Federal Foreign Office within the project ENABLING PV Nigeria. The tool is supported with data from the PV system planning tool PV*SOL, a professional tool for the calculation of PV systems, made by the German software provider Valentin Software.

The project is also closely linked to the Let´s make solar work vocational training initiative co-funded via sequa by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development under the program. The project has been jointly developed by several member companies of BSW-Solar and has been training Nigerian planners, installers and lecturers since 2017 with regard to the professional design, construction and maintenance of PV diesel hybrid power plants.