Oscarline Onwuemenyi 29 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – A recent study on renewable energy in Nigeria has revealed that many solar energy projects in the continent fail because they lack proper planning and long-term government support.
The study, published recently in Renewable Energy, sought to find out why solar power is failing to deliver cheap energy to people in Nigeria.
The researchers found that governments and agencies planning solar projects lacked awareness of how many people they wanted to reach, whether the location of planned solar parks was suitable and how the plant and the households it would benefit would be connected to the grid.
“So many projects fail because, when we talk about solar parks in Africa, most of the time people think this is just about finding an empty plot of land and implementing a project,” says Eugene Ikejemba, an engineering PhD student at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, who led the study.
More importantly, he added, little thought is given to how projects will be managed once built.
Ikejemba and his coauthor Peter Schuur, a management and governance researcher at Twente, have since widened their research to cover solar power policies in Ghana.
The study noted that despite undergoing rapid economic growth, Nigeria and Ghana still fail to provide affordable energy to an increasingly affluent population.