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How Solar Energy Can Bridge the Energy Gap and Power Progress



With up to 674 million people globally expected to remain without access to electricity in 2030, 9/10 of these people will live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The absence of reliable power sources presents a significant barrier to progress and is leading to high levels of energy poverty. As a result, there’s an urgent need for innovative solutions such as solar home systems (SHSs) like Lumos, to bridge the energy gap and empower communities by providing reliable, sustainable and affordable power, leading to significant savings on energy costs.


The Energy Deficit


While the vast majority of the world’s unelectrified urban population lives in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Nigeria alone, over 92 million people live off-grid. At the same time, frequent grid collapses, such as the 200 incidents recorded in the last nine years, lead to widespread blackouts and significant economic losses that amount to $29 billion annually. Similarly, in Côte d’Ivoire, over 9 million people, constituting 33% of the population, remain disconnected from the grid.


Bridging the Gap with Solar Home Systems 


Amidst these challenges, SHSs like Lumos have emerged as a promising solution, offering reliable and decentralised energy access to underserved communities. Indeed, user feedback underscores the transformative impact of SHS, with 54% reporting significant improvements in their lives and those of their families. Similarly, 94% of SHSs users experience enhanced quality of life, attributed to improved lighting, extended device usage, and increased productivity. Moreover, the advantages extend beyond convenience, with improvements in health and safety as well as economic and environmental benefits also being noted.


Health and Safety

With 89% of SHS users reporting feeling safer due to their newfound energy access, this highlights the transformative impact of reliable electricity on community well-being. Furthermore, 64% of them report experiencing better health outcomes, due to the elimination of dangerous fumes emitted by fuel-powered generators and kerosene lanterns. For Yunusa I. in Nigeria, “It brings my children joy, especially doing their assignments at night”. As a result, by transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources like Lumos, communities mitigate the health risks associated with indoor air pollution, promoting overall health and well-being.


The Economic Impact and Transformative Savings

The economic implications of solar energy adoption are profound, with 65% of SHS users witnessing reduced energy expenditure. Chidera O. from Nigeria shared that


“Lumos has helped me and my family in so many ways, especially as it's helped me save on energy and bills because the cost of generators and noise pollution are a big problem. Lumos is cost-effective, and reliable light is something that produces a sensation of vision in us.” 


Indeed, in Nigeria, the current price of fuel is approximately N1000 per litre. While a generator costs circa N191,000 per month to run, a monthly Lumos payment is around N22,700. As a result, Lumos users in Nigeria can save up to N168,300 per month, the equivalent of 88% of savings. 


Additionally, solar energy serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurship, with one in five energy customers leveraging their access to support or initiate income-generating activities. Similarly, over 80% of productive users reported a surge in their income, with solar energy fostering economic resilience and livelihood enhancement. Notably, more than 17% of energy customers utilise their solar systems specifically for income generation purposes, signalling the potential for sustainable economic empowerment. For Kohon, a hotel owner in Côte d’Ivoire, since having Lumos “I have fans in the 7 rooms with my 2 batteries. I have a lot more money because with Lumos, I have increased room prices and my customers are happy with the fans.”


Environmental

In addition to its socioeconomic benefits, solar energy contributes to environmental sustainability by mitigating reliance on fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions. Indeed, solar home systems offer a clean and renewable energy alternative, devoid of the harmful emissions associated with traditional energy sources. Hence, by harnessing solar power, communities can minimise their ecological footprint while enjoying long-term financial advantages.


As Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire continue to grapple with the challenge of energy poverty, Lumos emerges as a beacon of hope, offering a sustainable and accessible solution to bridge the energy gap. By using Lumos, communities can unlock new opportunities for socioeconomic advancement while fostering a healthier environment. At the same time, Lumos illuminates the path to progress and empowers users to thrive in a brighter, more sustainable future.

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