Zola, Sterling Bank seal pact to bridge energy gap in Nigeria
As parts of efforts to expand the penetration and accessibility of renewable energy in Nigeria, ‘infinity,’ an online solar energy technology which optimises diverse power provision has been unveiled in the Nigerian market to close the lingering energy gap.
The technology, which is a combination of smart storage of energy and solar, has been formulated with sequence and bunch of data to enable it optimise other source of energy like the grid or generator at the lowest cost at each point in time.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zola Electric, Bill Lenihan at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the firm and Sterling Bank, said the energy market in Nigeria is complex and thus warrants a peculiar business model to address the issues.
According to him, Nigeria’s power problem isn’t only the millions of people off-grid, but the unreliability and affordability of the national grid, adding that everybody can be considered off grid in Nigeria because about four hours power supply a day can’t be on-grid.
This phenomenon, he cited, has affected business environment in the country so much, making it a key market in the cleaner energy sector because of the advent of cleaner energy.
Lenihan explained that in view of the energy access crisis confronting Nigeria, which has seriously stalled economic growth and has resulted in health hazards due to environmental and climate challenges, it has become necessary for such steps to be taken in the country.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Sulaiman explained that the bank is interested in the energy solution because it’s a technology play driven by software to optimise power at barest cost.
Sulaiman, who described the MOU as a step in the right direction noted that energy crisis in Nigeria is not a problem a state government or company or the ministry of works, power and housing can deal with alone, hence the need to tackle it holistically, because, “if we don’t solve power, we cannot solve for economic growth, employment and insecurity.”
He added that apart from the fact the firms share similar vision in governance and ethics, the bank has decided to be part of the project to re-build trust in the solar market which has been affected by past challenges of incompetent installers, among others.
“To this effect, we are investing in the capital requirement to train enough solar engineers to correct this misconception. The infinity technology which is to be controlled online through an application would be deployed both by the bank through loans and Zola”, he added.