The antecedent problems associated with the present energy supply in the world, most especially the oil glut and its rising cost; environmental problems and disasters from thermal and nuclear power stations, geometrical increase in demand due to industrialization and population growth. 

The  Energy-induced environmental degradation is already prevalent in the country (1) this is characterized by deforestation as a result of falling of trees for fuel wood and charcoal production, air pollution in urban areas arising from vehicular emission and burning of traditional fuel for traditional cocking in household, noise pollution from use of small generators to provide electricity due to inadequate supply from the national grid, land and water pollution from oil spillage in the oil producing communities (2) This has led the world to look for alternative power supply such as solar energy among others. Unfortunately utilization and development of solar energy is rising in other parts of the world but encountered with low pace of development and utilization in Nigeria. This low pace of development is due to the associated problems such as purchasing

power, technology of installation and fabrications, awareness, governmental policy and politics, culture, among many other variables, In Nigeria for example, more than 75% of Nigerian populations are rural dwellers , Less than 20% of Nigeria is connected to the National grid, and more than 70% of Nigeria’s population of about 140 million live in more than 80% of land mass of Nigeria which is not connected to the national grid. Since the energy production level of any community dictates her pace of development and hence her poverty level, it is possible to alleviate poverty of the large community of Nigerians by providing alternative renewable energy (solar) for them. Solar energy is below available in two forms, namely Solar Thermal and Solar PV.

Solar Thermal: Solar thermal is the direct application of solar energy to produce heat. This is dated back to ages, exemplified by sun drying and so on, common in the equatorial region where people have programmed themselves to sun drying of personal effects such as clothing and drying of agricultural commodity, resulting to various researches in solar thermal equipment like cabinet dryers, oven, hatchery, water heaters among others. In many countries, solar thermal have been developed for various applications; some of these are solar cookers, solar pulverizes, chick brooding devices. Regarding the drying of Agricultural produce, there are four major drying techniques namely: open air drying, fire wood/fuel drying, electrical drying and solar drying.

In antiquity, people worshiped the sun as a great giver of life. Today, we embrace it for many reasons—including its ability to generate affordable energy.

Solar PV: Solar PV is the conversion of solar radiation to electricity using solar cell. These include Water Pumping for Irrigation in the Rural Areas, lightings and other proposes. The United Nation Commission on Sustainable development has called for much wider access to sustainable energy as a prerequisite for reducing poverty to about 50% by the year 2015 and all world leader reaffirmed in the year 2005 world summit in New York. By sustainable energy, it means energy produced and used in a way that supports human development over the long term in all its social, economic and environmental development (UNDP 2005). Millennium Development goals (MDGs) of halving poverty; will not be possible without increase energy services, production and income, creating job and reducing drudgery, There can be immediate and widespread deployment and application of solar energy which can easily cover large area especially rural and riverine areas because of many advantages of solar energy application over the present energy supply sources; especially when decentralized application is involved. Decentralization of Solar Energy installation means individual acquisition, utilization and application of the system. In this system, no high or low tension Transformer will be required, high or low tension wiring, equipment and logistic will not be involved in the distribution of the energy, which means the solar PV (panels) can easily be carried, deployed and installed on individual establishment and premises in any part of the country at low cost within a very short period.

 Problems Confronting Solar Installation in Nigeria

There are various problems confronting the acquisition, installation and development of solar system in Nigeria, which need to be addressed if appreciable progress has to be made. These include:

Affordability: Nigeria is still clarified as underdeveloped country with higher percentage of her population living under poverty level. This makes ability to acquire solar energy devices which is still considered expensive, either individually or group of people not easily come by.

SOLAR POWER EFFICIENCY: Even with recent technological advances, solar efficiency has ample room for improvement. The average solar panel is only 17% to 19% efficient. This efficiency rating refers to how much available solar energy the panel can convert into usable energy. In other words, 83% to 81% of solar energy goes to waste. Though a solar panel in a desert might absorb several kilowatt-hours of energy, it converts only a small fraction to usable energy.

SOLAR POWER INTENSITY: Another notable concern for solar developers is varying solar intensities. The amount of energy the sun provides differs by region and time of year. For instance, Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico receive over 5.75-kilowatt hours per day of solar energy on average while most of New England receives less than 4-kilowatt hours per day. In addition, the continental United States receives much more solar energy in July, the hottest month in the Northern Hemisphere, than it does in December or January.

SOLAR POWER RELIABILITY: One of the challenges for solar energy is also reliability. Even in the country’s hottest regions, panels can only produce electricity for a maximum of 12 hours per day, with short efficiency peaks at midday; solar technology professionals are devising ways to improve reliability. For instance, tracking panels follow the sun to extend peak energy production. Storage batteries are another possible solution — they would store some energy throughout the day for use at night. However, improvement is still necessary.

SOLAR’S LAND REQUIREMENTS: One major environmental concern is the space solar panels require. Large-scale solar power operations take up a great deal of land, allowing nothing else to share the space in other to get enough ventilation. This can result in habitat loss for both plant and animal species, which is a major source of wild species extinction. It can also limit agricultural development. The solution for this is improved effectiveness — if each panel is highly effective, fewer panels will be necessary and solar power operations will demand less space.

Present Level of Research and Development:

In Nigeria, not much research and development have been carried out on PV or solar thermal energy and associated devices. These devices are yet to become common household commodities in some country like Nigeria. Their uses are only scantly seen in universities and research centres. Hence the availability in Nigerian market of made in Nigeria brand name solar energy PV generating

Equipment and accessory is still a dream. This shows that Nigeria has a lot of journey to go (or prospect in disguise) in the area of solar energy research, deployment and device production.

Lack of Awareness:

Awareness of existence of solar energy as a source of power supply is still very low in Nigeria. Those that are aware of it thought solar energy can only power few watt of lightning. And also few are aware of the fact that solar PV is in modular form and can be connected in series and parallel to achieve the desired power output. Solar thermal can produce heat by combining temperature and mass (water or hydrogen and so on) running into Kilowatt or Megawatt to run turbine that can generate equal amount of electric power as the existing conventional power supply. It has also been observed that solar energy awareness is very low in Nigeria. To many Nigerians on the street solar P.V. application seems more of science fiction than reality

Solar energy is very cost effective. It doesn’t take long to pay for your initial investment in solar panels, and some people even make money by selling their excess electricity back to the power company.

We degrade our environment by depleting natural resources and polluting the air, but we can’t keep being careless or we (and future generations) will suffer. As people look for ways to “go green” and protect the earth, solar provides an excellent option. The solar industry is poised for growth and the solar energy is one of the most viable alternative energy sources, with its unlimited abundance and potential. During the next decade or so, experts anticipate more widespread solar development and employment. The industry has already reached record numbers. Though the solar industry outlook is positive, it must face certain challenges in the near future, one major concern is efficiency — solar panels only convert a small percentage of the available solar power into usable energy. Solar reliability is also an issue, especially in certain geographic regions. Though solar overall environmental impact is positive, especially compared to non-renewable energy sources, a few environmental concerns are still relevant, as well. In addition, the industry should reduce reliance on ever-changing political landscapes and their varying focus on sustainability projects. After addressing solar energy challenges, the industry will see unprecedented growth.


The solar industry has reached record highs in the last few years. Reduced costs, government incentives and widespread environmental concern have led to a boom in solar demand. By the end of September 2020, the United States had installed 67.9 GigaWatts alternating current (GW) of solar photovoltaic systems. Photovoltaic modules and cell importations are higher than ever before. In the first nine months of 2020, imports reached 20.6 Giga Watts direct current photovoltaic modules and 1.7 GW for cells. Keep in mind that this growth is in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the economy. With economic health restored, the industry’s expansion could skyrocket, such as hospital, for example Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria a non-governmental organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS related problems in Nigeria through the support from the Global Fund, Seen the benefits of constant electricity in their field decide to go solar and also funds hospitals in different states in Nigeria in powering the geneXpert machine with a 5.98kwh solar system, the geneXpert machine is a machine that detect mycobacterium tuberculosis in a sample of sputum and with much information the machine can't work without much ventilation in the lab

This fund include the provision of a 5 5KVa inverter, inverter batteries, solar panel, charge controller, inverter Air Conditioner and solar refrigerator depending on the need assessment done per site. This is meant to provide 12 hours power off national grid and to maintain a cool ambient temperature for optimal performance of the machine, despite the industry’s recent growth, it faces several significant challenges. Improvements are necessary for efficiency, reliability, environmental impacts and reliance on government policies. These concerns may limit the industry’s potential, so finding solutions is vital.

Experts are racing to improve solar panel efficiency. Increased efficiency could reduce solar costs for manufacturers, retailers and consumers since fewer panels would be necessary to provide the same level of power. This would also contribute to the industry’s environmental friendliness, as solar generation would take up less space and manufacture would require fewer resources.

Improving solar cell efficiency is one of the most significant opportunities for those in the solar industry. Technological enhancements are on the horizon. For instance, the introduction of diamond wire may result in thinner solar cells, which will be less expensive to produce and transport. Another opportunity is passivized emitter rear cell technology, which reflects unabsorbed light, converting more light into energy. Those at the forefront of solar efficiency improvements will have the greatest competitive edge as the industry expands.

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Varying solar intensities means solar is much more effective in some regions and parts of the year than others. In Washington, Maine, or Minnesota, it will take a lot longer to reconcile a solar investment. For now, solar is only viable in certain geographic regions which limit the industry. The average cost of solar is not worthwhile in many regions, including the northern half of the continental United States. If panels continue to become more effective and less expensive, residents of these areas will have a greater incentive to invest.

Solar developers need to create more effective and reliable solar technology. Until then, its unlikely solar will become a primary source of energy throughout the United States’ northernmost regions. However, solar is already more reliable than many other forms of energy. Solar facilities include many separate panels, spread out. Should a storm or other event damage one panel, the remainder can still function. When a disruptive event damages a generator or transformer station in a centralized grid, large populations can lose power. Widespread solar usage would improve emergency preparedness.

Environmental Problems and Climate Change:

The world including Nigeria are now seeking alternative energy supply so as to minimize environmental and other related problems created by conventional energy sources like Hydro, thermal, gas/diesel and other electric generating sources such as fission or fusion which create more environmental problems, destruction and risk. Japan, in fact, showed last summer in the early months following the March nuclear disaster that it could cut its consumption by 15 per cent. This featured in both Agenda 21 and the Climate Change Convention. Some of these negative impacts from fossil fuels can be remedied to some extent by turning to sustainable energies as alternatives, especially solar energy.


Solar power solutions and other alternative energy solutions help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which can help stabilize global temperatures. As solar energy becomes wider-scale, reliance on fossil fuels reduces. And running out of solar power will never be a concern. Solar power is the most abundant resource on planet Earth and totally inexhaustible. In one and a half hours, the sun’s energy that reaches Earth exceeds yearly worldwide energy consumption. This makes it one of the most viable solutions for replacing fossil fuels and natural gas. Though solar power provides many positive environmental benefits, it presents some environmental challenges, as well.

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Government Policy: In Nigeria there is no clear policy, investment, task in the areas of renewable energy like in the case of other energy generating sources like hydro, thermal, nuclear and others. The people in government who are to make policy and the common man on the street are very much unaware of the existence capacity of solar energy; many people in these areas that solar energy can power only small bulbs and at most television set. The print media also has not produced enough publicity on the subject matter. It is evident therefore that the problems of Solar energy in Nigeria though enormous, but can be filtered within short period if government gives proper attention to research, development, commercialization and installation of solar equipment through good policy evolution

Building Compliance: Much more individual solar power generating capacity are available in Nigeria but it is limited because it is observed that most of the buildings in Nigeria are not solar compliance, the few that are so occur by accident and not by design.

Component Failure: Component failure occurs when a fully installed operational device such as street light or home device becomes un-operational shortly after installation. Since the process of solar energy is very new in some part of the world, users get turned off; especially if it does perfect.

Technical Problem: On the Technical side, the electric engineers who are currently saddled with the problems of design and installation of electricity in homes and industry have not come up with clear cut design for provision for solar electricity energy installation in new or already wired buildings, homes or industries.

Research and Development: In the area of research and development, solar thermal has taken the lead though most of the achievements have not been commercialized. On the other hand, very few indigenous research and development has been recorded in the area of Solar P.V.

Energy Wastage: In the present day Nigeria, there is unhealthy attitude of energy wastage by some individual and groups. For instance, it is very common with some households to install 500W halogen security light at the four corners of the premises. This is further complicated by the installation of numerous energy consuming inefficient equipment inside the rooms of the same premise, considering proper standalone Solar Energy installation, 500W solar power supply will be enough to power a domestic home when energy saving equipment are employed. Most homes and industry in the country still use incandescent and halogen lamp which generate light and heaters consequently inefficient. Most industries in Nigeria make use of electric motors. Compressors and boilers which are enormous energy consumers and constitute a great percentage of energy been consumed by industry. Consequently there is a great potential for saving in industry given the efficient use of these electrical devices.

Theft and Vandalization: Theft and Vandalisation is one of the principal problem facing solar energy utilisation especially users of P.V. panel. Vandalisation is not prominent in Nigeria because of the level of awareness and utilization which is still very low; however few cases have been repotted unlike other African countries.


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