During a Wednesday tour of the Arnergy production plant in Lagos, Bill Gates, the creator of Breakthrough Energy Ventures and a co-founder of Microsoft, spoke with Arnergy management, investors, and industry experts about the difficulties and potential benefits of using renewable energy in Nigeria.
Experts called for partnerships with financiers and cooperation with industry leaders to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in Nigeria during the visit to the facility of Arnergy, a portfolio company of Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), particularly in light of the removal of petrol subsidies and the increase in electricity tariffs.
They said that the elimination of gasoline subsidies and the increase in power prices had created a new market for the renewable energy industry.
Given the recent loss of fuel subsidies, Gates stated, “I see a huge energy transition opportunity where distributed solar solutions like Arnergy’s displace gasoline generators for millions of SMEs in Nigeria.”
Gates said that it was a significant development for the market for renewable energy, not realizing that many Nigerians depend on gasoline generators.
He said that it will be crucial for scale to lower system costs and finance customers.
Femi Adeyemo, the chief executive officer of Arnergy, emphasized the company’s innovative, young Nigerian engineers, who are on average 26 years old, who created the modular Arnergy 5000 lithium battery energy storage systems (BESS), as well as its proprietary energy management hardware and Solarbase software.
The system enables leasing and paying for energy at a price less than what is now spent on diesel and gasoline generators for customers, channel partners, and lenders. Her real-time Internet of Things (IoT) remote monitoring and management of the power systems, which enables remote shutting off and turning on as well as energy efficiency advice from any location in the globe on Android and iOS platforms, is incredibly popular with her existing clients.