The three-year research and development project "People Power: Optimizing Off-Grid Electricity Supply Systems in Nigeria" (PeopleSuN) aims to improve access to reliable and sustainable energy in previously underserved regions in Nigeria through applied research. The focus is not only on technical solutions, but in particular on developing an understanding of local needs and realistic financial frameworks in order to optimise the use of off-grid systems while taking into consideration the actual needs of the local population.
Missing data as an obstacle to the electrification of undersupplied regions
Nigeria is the most populous country and the largest economy in Africa. Yet it has low electrification rates and is the country with the highest number of diesel generators. A comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data collection is the basis for the development of tools for the estimation of electricity needs, for the optimization of off-grid PV systems and for a handbook for decision makers and SMEs. The tools are developed with special consideration of local conditions and in close German-Nigerian cooperation.
Integrating local conditions and needs optimally into solutions
Due to the high cultural diversity within Nigeria, PeopleSuN works with a bottom-up approach. Special attention is paid to ensuring that the results of the project are individually adapted to local needs and conditions and that they are openly available.
In order to ensure this, the constant involvement of local stakeholders from politics, economy, civil society and science is ensured. In workshops, interviews with experts and through regular exchanges, we constantly check whether the results are actually applicable.
One of the core contents of the project is a representative qualitative and quantitative data collection. These are the basis for the development of open tools to estimate the specific electricity demand and ability to pay, to improve the design of decentral PV Systems and to evaluate different energy supply models. The tools will be validated through application within demonstration projects in Nigeria and Niger led by local academic and SME partners. The tool can then be applied throughout Nigeria and additionally tested in Niger.
Openly available results and strong involvement of local partners
The following concrete results are expected:
(1) openly available data sets on electricity demand and solvency of rural electricity users;
(2) open and freely available tools for project developers, researchers and policy makers to improve and evidence-based decision making;
(3) recommendations for SMEs and policy makers to improve the framework conditions.
The results will be developed through close cooperation of the project coordinator Reiner Lemoine Institute with the project partners from Nigeria, Niger and Germany.