As Nigeria continues to grapple with its long-standing issues with power generation and supply, its citizens are turning to a vast array of solutions to help plug the vacuum that’s been left by unreliable power grid. Most people rely on ‘generators’ to light up their homes and businesses. Some go for inverters. A small but growing number are opting for renewable energy.
Most of these remedies are expensive, and not always available for as long as their users want. So there’s still a yawning power supply gap staring them- and most Nigerians –in the face.
It’s this reality that Rensource has arisen to tackle. Founded in 2015, this energy startup is deploying renewable energy solutions to people across Nigeria at affordable costs. They’re doing this with the help of micro-utilities, which provide off-grid power to whole communities and business clusters at once.
The idea does look like a no-brainer solution, especially for a country which doesn’t have a trustworthy national energy infrastructure. Individual homes, residential estates, and commercial districts regularly suffer from power outages that are local; sometimes, those outages affect whole regions or even the entire country. Linking up with a strong power source that’s not connected with the national grid would be the first way to go.
But the off-grid solutions we’ve had up until recently have either been too costly or just as erratic as the public one. Thanks to Rensource, one no longer needs to assume that we have to choose between pricey bills for private power on one hand and very little power on the other.
Rensource makes this possible by working with stakeholders, contractors, and regulatory agencies to come up with solutions that would work for the specific community or cluster that’s in need of their services. They ensure that the solution they create is one that’s commercially viable for investors and also cost-effective for clients.
Next, they design and supervise the construction of the infrastructure required to power the community they’re dealing with. And after the project is delivered, they help clients with managing the infrastructure and provide the necessary technical assistance needed to keep it functioning efficiently.
A crucial component of Rensource’s service is its financial model. It runs a tiered-subscription system, which means that it offers a range of variously priced service packages, all available upon subscription.
Thus far, Rensource has grown its customer base to thousands of individuals and businesses. Starting off in Lagos, it has expanded to Kano and Abuja and aims to eventually cover the whole country at some point in the future.
The startup is getting backing from investors who see private grid operators as the future of power provision in Nigeria and the wider African continent. Last year, they raised $3.5 million to scale operations. That came just two years after receiving $1.1 million in seed funding. With more support from the investor community, Rensource is likely to meet its ambitious target sooner than many expect.
The success of companies like could inspire more businesses like it to emerge and take on a seemingly intractable power problem. Hopefully, they’ll help to overcome it once and for all.
Featured image source: Rensource