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Microenergy SystemsTransforming the Backup Generator Electrification Paradigm in Nigeria

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Transforming the Backup Generator Electrification Paradigm in Nigeria


Authors: Fabienne Banzer, Raluca Dumitrescu, Georg Heinemann, Maximilian Neuhoff and Vivian Ogechi Nwadiaru

The global energy industry is facing a whirlwind transformation. African countries still struggle with low energy access. The ability to provide power to all people, particularly at-risk and marginalised communities is one of the fundamental challenges facing humanity today. Combating this and delivering solution where and when it is needed in a form acceptable by the local community will mark a significant milestone for mankind. 

No doubt some of the technology required for this transformation exists, however, the implication of the energy transformation cuts more in-depth into the fabric of society and needs to consider other dimensions including the political, economic, and social aspects. This interface between engineering/technology and society is where this research thrives.

The research project focuses on designing bottom-up electrification pathways for marginalised communities in Nigeria for a sustainable energy transition. It attempts to evaluate the causality in the high proliferation of fossil-based backup generators, the effect of the unreliable grid on both households and MSMEs and introduces an interdisciplinary dimension to the creation of local energy markets through swarm grids and peer to peer networks. 

Integrating renewable energy at the end-user level through Solar home systems and Micro/mini-grids, are emerging as a solution to today’s energy crisis. These emerging systems will redefine the manner electricity is delivered to households when compared to traditional grid infrastructure. One of the challenges with energy markets is that existing designs mirror the situations in developed countries, and a lot of information through digitalisation is needed for informal communities in developing countries. Secondly, self-generation of electricity enables members of the community to take up roles as prosumers making them less reliant on traditional utilities. One way this research addresses this is to investigate the value propositions presented to energy stakeholders at different levels of the pyramid. In addition it reflects on the norms, aspiration and the needs of local populations in low-income settlements to support efficient energy planning and, thus rapid adoption of clean technologies like solar and displacement of diesel/gasoline-powered backup generators.


Microenergy Systems in collaboration with:
 - Alexander v. Humboldt Foundation
 - WIP at the TU Berlin
 - MicroEnergy International GmbH


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