3 Reasons Why SHSs Are the Optimal Solution to Connect Off-Grid Households in 2023
With 733 million people still lacking access to clean, modern and reliable electricity worldwide, connecting entire neighbourhoods, towns and even cities to the grid would require unimaginable amounts of time, energy and resources. Off-grid solar solutions provide an affordable and fast way to provide basic electricity access, all whilst being from clean energy sources.
The number of people accessing electricity through solar energy systems (SHSs) has grown from an already impressive 420 million people in 2019 to over 490 million people by the end of 2021. Indeed, most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have an electricity access gap of at least 2 million, with African countries’ electricity the lowest in the world at just over 40%. However, in Côte d’Ivoire, approximately 9 million people, representing a third of the population, don’t have access to the grid. In Nigeria, 92 million people out of the country’s 200 million population live without access to reliable power, the lowest access to electricity globally. From costing less to being more reliable, and from being a healthier option to a greener way forward, SHS are the most optimal solution to connect off-grid households to electricity.
Less Costs per Household
Off-grid solar is the most cost-effective and feasible solution that will allow the electrification of 55% of currently unconnected households over the next five years. Indeed, with petrol supply issues and skyrocketing diesel prices, countries across the world are endlessly looking for alternative energy solutions. Last year, when diesel prices in Nigeria almost tripled from around ₦200 to over ₦700 per litre, it led to many relying on fuel-powered generators to not have electricity at home for some time. With SHS, households no longer have to rely on the volatility of fuel prices and have less costs associated with electricity at home. As a result, SHSs remain the most cost-effective solution to electrify hundreds of millions of off-grid homes and businesses for both households and planning organisations.
A Healthier Option
Most households that aren’t connected to the grid or have an unreliable power supply use petrol generators and kerosene lanterns, which can cause many health issues. Adopting SHSs contributes to a healthier household and improved cleanliness by eliminating indoor air pollution, which causes respiratory and eye health problems. Indeed, by reducing the amount of CO2 released into the home, SHSs contribute to improvements in safety, security and reductions of illnesses.
A Greener Way Forward
In addition to being a healthier option for people, SHSs are more environmentally friendly. With millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa relying on fossil fuels for electricity production, the result is an increase in the amount of pollution in the region. Replacing kerosene lanterns and fuel generators with SHSs has already avoided an estimated 190 million tonnes of CO2e in Africa, the equivalent of taking 51 coal-fired power plants offline for a year, showcasing clear emissions reduction benefits.
Connecting Households with Lumos
With millions of people still without access to the grid in Sub-Saharan Africa, finding a quick, clean and affordable method to provide them with power is vital and SHSs fulfil this need. With Lumos, households and SMEs have rapid access to clean, reliable and affordable power. Once their Lumos Yellow Box is installed, they can immediately start improving their quality of life all whilst spending less on energy.