Simba group ties energy security to alternative energy

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

23 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA- The Managing Director of Simba Group of Companies Nigeria, Mr. Rajan Menon, has stated that only a sustained recourse to adoption and use of alternative energy will ensure future energy security in the country.

Menon, who made the remark in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, noted that the company was committed to developing the alternate energy supply in Nigeria, and this means doing its part to educate users and contributing towards employment generation.

He also pointed out that there is a huge potential for alternative energy market in Nigeria giving the country’s unique challenges in electricity generation and distribution over the years.

He noted that as the kerosene scarcity problems continue to add to the daily plight of Nigerians seeking to secure basic lighting at home, the company has presented a unique solution in the form of the Sun King.

“The Sun King is a solar lantern which uses the power of the sun to charge a portable lighting device. The product is marketed by Simba Group, and is designed to substitute expensive-to-run kerosene lanterns. As it is powered by energy from the sun, it is absolutely free to run,” he stated.

Menon explained that the Sun King provides light through high-efficiency light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which comes as part of the lighting kit. “On a single day’s charge, the Sun King is able to provide up to 16 hours of light, and all this without the need for any kind of fuel or firewood.

“The lighting device is extremely portable, and does not need to be connected to the solar panel while it is being used. The external solar panel is outside in the sun. This allows users to safely charge the product even if they are away from home, without fear of theft,” he added.

He noted that apart from the obvious advantage that it costs nothing to run, the solar lantern has many advantages over other forms of energy. It does not emit any fumes ans is completely safe to use. The toxic fumes associated with kerosene lanterns are often cited as the leading cause of death in children under the age of five.

“The product also produces a ‘clean light’, which unlike candles and kerosene lanterns, does not flicker – making it more suitable for the eyes. Another important safety component is that there is no naked flame, which means that if the lantern falls over, there is absolutely no risk of fire, which further eliminates the risk of damage to property or life.”

According to Menon, “There is a huge and vibrant market opportunity for alternative energy to expand in Nigeria. The present challenges with provision of electricity and the insufficient grid and other power infrastructure support the growth of the alternative energy sector for the provision of efficient, reliable and cheap electricity in the long run.”

Menon noted that his company has had many years of experience in the alternate energy industry in India, adding that the Nigeria was similar to India with respect to its population, size and economy.

“India, like Nigeria, has had challenge of electricity generation and distribution, and it is through the adoption of alternate energy sources such as solar and others that the country is tackling this problem. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in this technology,” he added.

Furthermore, to avoid the risk of comparison to sub-standard products in the market, the manufacturers of Sun King have partnered with a World Bank programme that is especially focused on bringing good quality lighting solutions to rural communities across Africa.

The Sun King recently won the World Bank and International Finance Corporation;s awards fot ‘Most Outstanding Product’, as well as a host of other awards conferred on it by the United Nations and Environmental Protection Agency of the United States.

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