American Investors, Solar Energy Experts Visits Nigeria
By Paul Adujie
Friday, 23 March 2007
American Investors, Solar Energy Experts Visits Nigeria
By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States
American solar energy investors are taking Nigeria by storm!
A Nigerian in California Mr. Richard Soyombo, Director of California Center for International Trade, is acting as a facilitator, chaperon and pointer for these visitors. These American investors in solar energy are taking solar energy to Nigeria, as an alternative energy source
I am delighted to report that the chief executive officer and president of Bay Solar Energy Corporation is on exploratory road-show and business meetings with Nigerian business executives, government leaders and the Nigerian general public.
A key component for national development is energy. Energy shortfall has been a factor in Nigeria's under-development and stunted economic growth. As we must all have realized,
Nigeria's national development is hinged on a reliable and steady power supply.
Energy overhead costs, and initial outlays for energy supply, frequently serve as deterrent to potential foreign investors that are interested in Nigeria. Energy shortage in Nigeria affects quality of life of those who live in Nigeria; as modern conveniences are powered and often automated.
Many American investors complain about Nigeria's erratic energy supply, which is similar to the situation in Vietnam. Nigeria and Vietnam are countries to which American investors are attracted, but, the frequent complaints and constraints, are energy shortages that is pervasive in both countries.
Nigeria has for so long relied on hydro-thermal electricity generation and transmission as energy source. Power supply has been erratic to say the least. The challenges in the energy generation, transmission and supply in Nigeria have been daunting, and this, despite huge monetary and material investments in the traditional energy sector.
These perennial challenges were met head-on by the current federal government of Nigeria of President Obasanjo and despite best efforts, electricity generating and transmitting remains inadequate, unreliable and unsteady. Power supply to individual consumers and industrial consumers remain a daunting task.
These American investors and solar energy experts, seek partnerships with individuals and corporations in Nigeria. All these, are with a view, to finding lasting and permanent solutions to what has essentially morphed into a national energy crises.
John Bannen leads a major solar energy company in the United States. He is a leader of Bay Solar Energy Corporation based in California. Center for International Trade and Development are keenly interested in Mr. Bannen's exploratory and road show to Nigeria. CITD is very supportive of investment in the Nigerian-African markets.
The purpose of the current visit by these American investors, is to consolidate plans to partner with Nigerian entities and to convince all concerned that these American investors are interested in making long-term investment commitments in Nigeria.
Solar energy solution is new to Nigeria. It will benefit individual persons for domestic consumption as well as, institutional consumers. The American solar energy experts and investors, are confident, and full of, a sense of purpose. Nigeria has abundant supply of sunlight and sunshine. This is an energy source that can never be depleted. There is a fertile and would be lucrative market for solar energy and in fact, any energy alternative to hydro-thermal energy sources. Power supply in Nigeria is currently inadequate, grossly inadequate.
There is clearly therefore an enormous market in Nigeria. Nigeria's huge population is underserved in energy generation and transmission. There is a welter of consumers waiting for solar energy panels to serve and fulfill energy needs.
The benefits, the profits and sheer happy returns to Nigeria, are immeasurable. Solar energy is environment friendly, no pollution in discernable way, is associated with solar energy generation and transmission. It is noiseless and fumes-free, unlike the hundreds of thousands of noisy portable residential and industrial electricity generators to which Nigerians have become accustomed! Can anyone actually get accustomed to noisy generators?
Solar energy, solar panels, does not require hunt for petrol or diesel fuels, with solar energy in your home, office, school or industry, petroleum scarcity for instance, would not result in the usual darkness and hardships that results from fuel shortage and power failures.
It is worthy to mention that Solar Energy panels require a substantial one time investment. However, unlike generators, you do not need to spend an additional Kobo for approximately 25-30 years thereafter (unless your panels were deliberately damaged.)
If and when the costs of purchasing a generator, diesel oil for 25-30 years, oil lubricant for 25-30 years, monthly maintenance were calculated, one will realize that the initial "substantial" cost of solar panels amounts to nothing. The solar energy setup should start paying for itself in about 8 - 10years. This means 15 years of free energy, 24/7!!
Solar Energy panels, unlike generators do not emit fumes, they do not make noise and they do not require diesel oil nor lubricants. Consequently, no health related hazards and you sleep better while enjoying 24/7 electricity.
If the cost of healthcare and stress due to sleeplessness were calculated, definitely more Nigerians will opt for Solar Panels.
Solar panels do not cause fire outbreaks, unlike generators. Several families in Nigeria have woeful stories to tell of how their generators went afire and the whole house burnt down.
Solar Energy panels in addition to residential and corporate applications, can be used virtually for almost anything: street lights, traffic lights, signage boards, relay stations for satellite communications and/or mobile telecommunications, rural health centers, rural electricity, hospitals, corporate buildings, agricultural irrigations, water-hole pumps, manufacturing, business centers, night parties, etc.
In addition, Bay Solar Power will also bring to Nigeria, solar-based laptop/cell phone/PDA chargers that can be used virtually anywhere.
John Bannen, CEO Bay Solar Power is committed to making solar energy panels available to every Nigerian.
Financing arrangements are being worked out with Nigerian Banks to further facilitate purchase by the masses.
It is important that Nigerian consumers; In this regard therefore, Bay Solar has embarked advertisements, marketing and press releases to explain and open the a new alternative energy world to Nigerians. These efforts, will, add and enhance infrastructure developments that will help advance the economy of our great homeland.
This "invasion" of Nigeria by these American solar energy investors and experts, are particularly a thing of joy for me for multiple variable of reasons. The first is that Nigerians and Nigeria are about to be served well, and lives improved energy wise. Secondly, these solar energy efforts are environment friendly.
Thirdly, Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) has something to do with these endeavors. Mr. John Bannen and Bay Solar Energy Corporation were participants in NIDO World Conference held in Toronto between January 18 and 20 2007. I personally interacted with some Nigerians, with homes in Lagos, who already use solar powered amenities. It will be recalled, that the Toronto conference saw policy wonks, academics and government departmental leaders engage in vigorous and vibrant debates, analyses, and thorough examination of current government reforms, followed with suggestions and recommendations, for fine-tuning public policies.
The panelist and discussants on energy, during the Toronto NIDO conference, experts and various participants, analyzed all facets of energy supply, both traditional and alternative sources, such as solar, nuclear and windmills etc. And the subsequent contacts that were made thereafter, has resulted in this outcome, an indication of strong investment interests in Nigeria by Bay Solar and others.
As Nigeria receive these American investors and experts in solar energy, we, Nigerians at home and abroad, must ask ourselves, what we can do today, for the development, advancement and greatness of Nigeria?