If you live in Nigeria, you must have been hit by the harsh reality of refueling your car and generator for almost twice the price of what it used to be few weeks back and buying vegetables at a ridiculously higher than normal price.
Yesterday, in a conversation with a friend, we concluded that a lot of homes in Nigeria are dependent on:
1) A Big generator to power air conditioners, refrigerators and other gadgets, usually fueled by diesel
2) A small generator often used when the bigger generator needs to take a break and is usually fueled by gasoline. (Petrol)
3) An inverter with several batteries that supplies stored electricity while the two generators take a break.
4) oh yea, I almost forgot the one that has consistently failed us over the years. The National Grid. PHCN, NEPA or whatever you chose to regard them as.
I think I need to get solar panels on the roof of my father’s house, my friend said but they aren’t durable and yet they cost a fortune. Ding! Dong! That was my Eureka moment, knowing I had a put up a post about the myths of solar panels. Earlier today, I was at a solar installation in Lekki and I was convinced it was the way forward with power generation in Nigeria.
Here are some of the myths you may need to change your mind about:
1. SOLAR PANELS ARE NOT AFFORDABLE:
While solar panels are considered to be expensive, there has been a considerable drop in price over the years. The cost of solar panels is about 80 to 100 times lower than what it used to be about 40 years ago. In fact in countries like Germany, where alternative energy sources are predominant, people are cutting electricity costs by installing solar panels on their roof. This graph below from ‘Bloomberg New Energy Finance’ explains the drop in price over the years.
2. SOLAR PANELS CAN ONLY POWER LIGHTBULBS
This has got to be the most hilarious of all the myths. My friend also believed strongly in this myth as he thought of the panels as source of electricity to light bulbs and charge phones during the day. I told him he could actually power his air conditioner and refrigerator using the panels on his roof. (If he finally gets them). Cities around the world are currently being powered by solar farms generating the power needed for heating, cooking, and several other uses.
3. SOLAR PANELS ARE NOT DURABLE
With this I will speak on a personal experience. Privida Power Limited, a solar installation company in Lagos Nigeria offers 10-year warranty on the panels and their panels are made in Germany. (Those who know me know my bias for anything made in Germany) The installing company is solely responsible for damages and repair during this period as well. No Jokes.
4. SOLAR PANELS ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE
The only challenge with using solar panels as the only source of energy generation is the high cost of batteries. In an ideal situation, solar panels should generate enough electricity to be used during the day, and charge batteries to sufficient capacity to be used throughout the night.
Have you always thought about installing solar panels and had these myths in mind? It’s time to change those misconceptions.
If you need a solar quote for your home, I’ll be glad to refer you to a company near you. Just leave a comment below.