The Chinese company, Shenzhen Lemi Technology Development Company, has just launched the distribution of its solar home kits in Nigeria. It thus benefits from a vast market in which a large part of the population is not connected to the national electricity grid.
The market for solar home kits in Nigeria is expanding with a new player. This is Shenzhen Lemi Technology Development Company, a company based in Guangdong province in China. The solar kit it offers consists of a solar panel, a battery storage system with plugs to connect devices such as televisions or radios.
These systems will be sold in three categories of 30, 45 and 60 W. The Chinese company did not indicate how it intends to market its solar kits at home. In Nigeria, however, other suppliers such as PAS solar and Azuri Technologies, are based on the pay-as-you-go (pay-per-use) model, which is easy to implement thanks to “mobile banking”.
Shenzhen Lemi is entering a vast market of more than 190 million people, more than half of whom live in rural areas, according to the World Bank. In these remote areas, people are not connected to the national electricity grid, which is already struggling to supply large cities. This is why solar kit suppliers are making their products available to people living in villages, who currently have no choice but to use oil lamps.
The multiplication of solar kit suppliers could lead to lower prices on the market. In the meantime, the World Bank remains on alert about the quality of the products on offer. Allwell Nwankwo, Nigeria’s Head of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Lighting Africa Programme, was present at Shenzhen Lemi’s presentation of home solar kits. “In 2008, we put in place a quality assurance mechanism to ensure that only products that meet specific requirements will be supported by the World Bank,” he explained.
The IFC, the World Bank’s corporate finance subsidiary, is currently working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to develop standards for solar photovoltaic products. This issue must be taken into account in the rapidly developing solar market involving various operators.
Jean Marie Takouleu