Tesla Or No Tesla, Nigeria’s Energy Market Will Do Significantly Well

By  |  January 23, 2019

Earlier reports have spread what could be said to be falsifications about Tesla’s intention to invest in Nigeria’s energy market. The American car and clean-energy company, according to this literature, was planning to introduce its Power Wall renewable energy battery that would power Nigerian homes and businesses. 

With energy distribution companies trailing behind in grid power, coupled with numerous complaints and iffy systems, it certainly made a bit of sense that Tesla will venture into the Nigerian market. But just when we’d think the unsustainable tariffs and unprecedented blackouts have started to end, Tesla denied claims that his company has eyes on Nigeria’s energy space. 

Business Insider reports that Musk says Tesla has no current plans to introduce its home battery system to Nigeria. In as much as Tesla works with project developers across Africa, where its commercial battery system Powerpack can significantly help in the on-and-off-grid sector, Nigeria isn’t going to see the American firm’s strides anytime soon. 

But It’s Not The End of The World

While the origin of this news is yet unknown, Nigerians are still trying to recover from the shock of a report being false. As much as Nigeria’s Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola says, even NERC (Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission) is not aware of any such plans. But this does not mark the end of the line for the country. 

Some 9 months ago, Fashola took to the media and disclosed that Nigerians now get more volumes of electricity supplied to their homes and offices. He insisted that a significant number of commercial and residential consumers of power have done away with their alternative power supply sources for grid electricity. As the situation saw tremendous improvement, it was the minister’s opinion that Nigerian spend less money procuring electric power. 

In another case, Fashola revealed that the country’s power supply is better than it was in the last three years. This claim, which was seen as a mere political drama, gave credence to disclosures by the Rural Electrification Agency, that the implementation of its Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) in Lagos’ Sura Shopping Complex resulted to the decommissioning of 700 petrol power generating sets previously used by traders. 

Nigeria’s power generation as at 2015 was 4,000 megawatts, while transmission and distribution averaged 5,000 megawatts and 3,000 megawatts, respectively, according to Fashola. Presently, energy generation has reached 7,000 megawatts, averaging incremental production of 1,000 megawatts every year since the current president took over the office. 

Last month, African Development Bank (AfDB) granted the Federal Government of Nigeria more than USD 200 Mn for the funding of the country’s electrification project. While its board of directors provided USD 150 sovereign loan, USD 50 came from the Africa Growing Together Fund AGTF), a USD 2 Bn facility under the sponsorship of the People’s Bank of China. These funds were administered by the AfDB to address critical energy access deficit in the country and encourage the realisation of universal energy access by 2030 targets. 

2017, the World Bank approved USD 350 Mn in a loan to Nigeria for the development of rural electrification projects in the country. 

Linking up to these efforts, both past and present, helps us understand that grid electricity Nigeria is getting better. Tesla or no Tesla, the government is accessing funds and consulting experts to improve on-grid power in the country. Coupling that with the funds raised by the likes of Rensource, Tesla’s denial shouldn’t be a dent on the power landscape. Perhaps Africans need to join hand with the government and solar startups to brighten up the lives of the people. 

Feature image courtesy: nigeriaelectricityhub

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