‘Renewable Energy Is The Only Feasible Solution For Next Decades’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


‘Renewable Energy Is The Only Feasible Solution For Next Decades’

Posted: Jul 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Executive Director of GVE Project Limited, Mr Chuka Eze, in this interview with CHARLES OKONJI, explains the need to explore renewable energy sources to boost the country’s power supply.


Nigeria, in recent time, has been facing serious challenges in power supply because of gas shortage and now, the Federal government is considering solar energy as the best alternative to tackle the nation’s power deficiency. As an expert in solar energy, can you tell us how it can rightly fit into Nigerian energy solution?

Yes, as rightly said, the power crisis in Nigeria is a serious challenge. A country with over 170 million people having to share a little over 3000 megawatts of energy is unimaginable. Solar energy and other sources of renewable energy rightly fit the Nigerian energy problem solution. It is, in fact, the only feasible solution over the next few decades to address the power challenges currently being faced by the nation. It is particularly the most achievable means to reach out to communities that are off-grid especially the very rural communities. Nigeria as nation has very abundant resource to sufficiently power our renewable energy sector, be it Solar, Wind and/or Biomass hybrid systems.  This has to be harnessed and be plugged back to the community.


Considering the high foreign exchange rate at the moment, how do you think Nigeria will be able to address this power issue both in the short term and long term?

As mentioned earlier, the state of power generation and distribution in the country is quite devastating. The current issue at Forex makes it even more complicated especially when it comes to our business where we heavily depend on importation of most of the allied products. Personally, I believe that nothing is impossible to achieve for a willing mind. The short term solution for the immediate national power crisis is and has always been establishment of as many national independent power plants as possible. It must not necessarily be very big. Small packets of off-grid generating plants to power clusters of settlements are promising model. On the long run, our national grid generation, transmission and distribution network needs an overhaul and may be capital intensive.


Some people believe that solar is for the rich of the cost of equipment. Can you tell us the cost implication of solar energy the project and how it can be made affordable for the common man?

At GVE Projects, our mission statement is “to create an enterprise focused on deploying clean, reliable, affordable and sustainable renewable energy solutions to clients.” We keep our words, and our goal is to power up over 500 communities that are currently off-grid over the next five years impacting over one million Nigerian citizens providing them with clean and reliable energy. We have done these things in five communities already and we are doing more. Our target population cuts across all the classes of people in communities and we have service models to benefit even the lowest income earners. Sure, undoubtedly, the high FOREX has predominantly increased the cost of our offerings, but we have packages to suit even the poorest the carder. For us, everyone should be at least entitled to his basic energy needs and we have flexible financial models to cater for such demands. In our community models, we make use of our proprietary vending systems, which enable costumers have access to electricity on pay-as-you-go basis with an initial installation cost of as low as N6000. That is how much we have worked to make electricity affordable to all and we keep our commitment to making the cost even cheaper.


The Federal Government has just signed an MOU with 13 solar energy firms to generate over 1,0000 megawatts.  If this plan succeeds, can solar electricity power manufacturing company and industrial estate?

Definitely yes. We have seen manufacturing plant across the world that runs on entirely off renewable energy sources.  With proper design and energy usage modelling it is highly achievable.


Which country in the world is effectively depending on solar and how did they arrive at that?

Countries like Germany, Italy and China top the world chart on installed Renewable energy capacity. The major success factor for these countries is basically commitment to cut the use of dirty sources for energy generation and save the climate, the world’s biggest carbon polluter could soon also be the country powered with the greenest energy. This same drive should be our drive more so coupled with providing sustainable solution to our inherent power issues.


Can you tell us much about your company and its achievements in the solar energy supply sector?

Our organization, GVE Projects Limited, is a renewable energy solutions provider with a business footprint that covers the modeling, design and deployment of reliable and sustainable renewable energy solutions in line with our clients’ needs and budget. GVE Projects Ltd has rightly positioned itself in the nation’s renewable energy industry as the first choice company in the provision of sustainable renewable off-grid energy solutions to remote settlements in Nigeria that does not have prior access to the electricity via the national grid. So far, we have installed a capacity of over 242.6 KW impacting over ten thousand people, cutting across all the geographic regions of the country and has resulted to energy related cost savings of about $98,560. We have won lots of national and international award as for conceiving a novel idea for deploying renewable energy solutions to off-grid remote settlement in a highly scalable, replicable and sustainable manner. These includes Winner: African Energy Awards, Finalist; City Mart/ City of Lagos Off-Grid Power Solution Challenge, June 2014, Pioneer Winner; GE Africa/ USADF, Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Access Challenge, Nov. 2013, Winner; UNDP/ Bank of Industry –Nigeria, Access to Renewable Project Nigeria, Dec. 2012, Winner; IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Project Challenge 2009. Our Project has been awarded five years pioneer status incentive. Through our ties with the Bank of Industry Nigeria, Institute of Electrical/ Electronics Engineers- Smart Village, USADF, UNDP Nigeria, and Akinola Williams Deloitte, GVE Projects Ltd has rightly positioned itself in the nation’s renewable energy industry to provide noting but the best affordable, efficient and sustainable solutions to her clients.


What are the future plans of the company in helping to improve the Nigerian electricity supply?

Just as we have established our brand as the most innovative alternative energy solutions provider in West Africa over the past few years of our business operations, we anticipate that GVE Projects Limited in the next couple of years will be more diversified to meet the dynamic challenges of the region’s energy sector especially as it relates to clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy systems, which combat the looming effects of global climate change and the emission of greenhouse gases. In the years ahead, we believe there is huge potential for our business and the economic and environmental benefits it provides. Our relationships with all our stakeholders are long term. While maintaining our current relationships, we will strive to be a one-stop-shop for alternative energy solutions aimed at meeting our client’s expectations through a variety of our tailored service offerings and continue our growth trajectory.