Growing energy use no doubt has a direct impact on the global and local environment. 
The unchecked increase in Nigeria’s population which according to UN data is estimated to be about 206,139,589 million with 107,112,526 million (52.0%) of the population residing in urban areas. 

This increase in population has seen the demand for energy increase tremendously as well. Energy forms the bedrock of all human activities and for any country to achieve meaningful development, the strategy to explore, exploit, preserve and manage its energy resources to satisfy the energy demand of its citizens must be given serious attention, Access to affordable, clean, modern and reliable, renewable energy is key to addressing some of today’s world’s problems including climate change, poverty and food security. 

About 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity with 85% of this population residing in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

Chukwuka G. Monyei et al, revealed that most of the states in the south have between 40% and 80% of their households connected to the gird with Ebonyi and Bayelsa states having a dismal connection of 12.3% and 21.6% respectively. A further review of the literature presents more shocking results from the northern part of the country with states like Taraba having 2.8% grid connection, Yobe with 18.1% and Plateau with 18.8% of their household connected to the grid.

 It was also observed from the report that Lagos State has the highest number (99.7%) of its household having access to electricity. It is, however, disappointing to note that about 40.9% relies on an oil-fired backup generator to complement the load shedding often experienced. 

Pedro Omontuemhen, Partner and lead, Power and Utilities, of PwC Nigeria, estimates that in 'Nigeria, only one in five people has access to power from the electricity grid.  This leaves four in five people living in urban and rural communities to fend for themselves with makeshift and localised power solutions’.
One of the means with which Nigerians use as back up to the deficit, unannounced load shedding, partial and sometimes total system collapse is an oil-fired backup generator. 

The International Energy Agency's report on energy outlook in Nigeria states that Nigeria is the largest user of oil-fired backup generator in Africa. Considering the harmful effects of the emission of CO2 to the users and the environment, it is only right that other forms of energy generation are considered. In 2013, the World Energy Council listed Solar Energy among others as a major source of energy in Nigeria.
So far, the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria (REA), an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria tasked with the electrification of rural and unserved communities has so far provided 2607 electricity connections through mini-grids, 290 mini-grids to households headed by women, 181534 electricity connections through Solar Homes Systems (SHS), 929 connections through SHS for MSMEs, 71737kW of energy developed by SHS and 497kW of energy installed through the mini-grid.

The REA hopes to expand energy access  to 25 million individuals (5 million new connections) through the provision of Solar Home Systems (SHS) or connection to a mini-grid
Increase local content in the off-grid solar value chain and facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing and assembly industry;
Incentivize the creation of 250,000 new jobs in the energy sector.

It feels good to know that the federal government of Nigeria is finally exploring the vast solar resources that abound in the country. 

As good as these figures are from the REA, the sad realization that the majority of the population leaving in semi-urban and urban cities still power their homes and businesses with oil-fired backup generators leaves some bitter taste in the mouth. It is imperative therefore for Nigerians to take steps to understand and embrace the new starting points from solar energy provided by stand-alone renewable technology and mini-grids. 
Access to modern energy services remains a huge challenge for many households in Nigeria and studies have shown the harmful effects of the continuous use of energy from fossil fuel. We are all too familiar with the effects of global warming thus the switch to renewable energy sources like wind, biomass, hydro and solar will greatly contribute towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and provide access to a modern and reliable form of energy to Nigerians. As well as asking people to embrace solar energy as an alternative means of power supply, a lot still needs to be done particularly on the side of citizens engaging opinion leaders, policymakers and investors to help reduce the cost of installation and procuring components used. Financial institutions can as well introduce flexible options such as simple payback and life cycle costing to ease the burden on individuals who wish to explore the option of the solar-powered system as an alternative means of power supply. I believe these solutions and/or provides a viable, bottom-up solution to the patchy availability of electricity in Nigeria.

Worldometer (www.Worldometers.info)
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Oyewo, Ayobami; Aghahosseini, Arman; Bogdanov, Dmitirii; Breyer, Christian (2018-12-15). "Pathways to a fully sustainable electricity supply for Nigeria in the mid-term future". Energy Conversion and Management. 178: 44–64. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2018.10.036. ISSN 0196-8904.
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