Establishment Of Mini-Grid Will Electrify Rural Commodities In Nigeria – Report

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Experts said that Rural Electrification can improve the quality of life by increasing economic activity necessary for rural economic development.
According to a report made available to Vanguard, by Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) “Mini-grid is an enabler of rural industrial development, through enabling productive use of electricity for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“It can drive economic development and improve household incomes by enabling households to establish micro home enterprises and by providing existing SMEs with the possibility to switch to a cheaper, cleaner more convenient form of energy for their vehicles.
However, this depends on higher voltage services and thus on the grid or mini-grid access.
The report further stated that Mini-grid has multiple specific benefits in comparison to other RE options.
These include The possible speed of deployment, additional private sector growth, and flexibility of technical and operational models.
The report stated: “The development of mini-grids is driven by different national priorities and takes various forms around the world. Mini-grid operating models are constantly improving as lessons are shared and governments are gradually opening up to alternatives to the extension of the national grid.”
The report also said that in the past, most national Governments in sub-Saharan Africa have prioritised the grid extension approach for rural electrification.
However, progress often stayed very slow due to the remoteness of many areas and the costly investment required for grid extension and large-scale central power plant development.
According to the report, “in some cases, the rate of electrification was even lower than population growth. Mini-grids are therefore seeing a surge in interest as governments and private developers take stock of the socio-economic implications of large unelectrified rural populations, national grid extension costs and the potential for innovative public-private partnerships to deliver commercially sustainable, effective, reliable, ‘green’ power to improve rural livelihoods.
The report noted that Kenya has traditionally set up diesel-powered mini-grids in off-grid areas of commercial or strategic importance. These are managed by the national utility.

However, political pressure to continue expanding electricity access to the entire population has led to a revised policy framework under which the national Rural Electrification Authority now handles development of mini-grid sites throughout the country.

Vanguard

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