Ways You Didn’t Know Solar Could Create Jobs

With high levels of unemployment and vulnerable employment on the rise, the world of work in Africa is still facing tremendous challenges in terms of job creation and sustainability.

Of all the continents of the world, Africa exhibits the highest unemployment rate. Creating productive jobs remains a key challenge in Sub Saharan Africa.

Most African countries are fast developing and there is a huge need for extensive innovation and creativity – being able to channel the little resources at one’s disposal into something positive to yield sustainability.

According to the World Bank, the African Continent has arguably the worst electric power infrastructure in the world with the lowest scores in power generation, consumption and security of supply.

The sun is the most abundant and free energy source, when compared with the other alternative and renewable energy sources available for Africa. Thousands of villages in Africa are so remote and too spread apart that it would take decades and billions of investment dollars to take electricity to all corners of the continent.

Because most of Africa sits on the earth’s equator, the sun’s reaches many parts of the continent including the remotest parts. This raw energy already touches the parts of the continent that power grids and infrastructure have still not reached – after many decades.

Below are some business ideas inspired by the discovery of solar energy:

Solar Phone Charging Business

In most developing countries, people have a greater chance to own a cell phone than to have access to electricity or water. In these countries where electricity can be a luxury not accessible to all, public phone charging is very popular. To counter the electricity issue, solar phone charging is one of the solutions provided to local consumers.

This involves setting up a solar powered shop or stall, where you charge small amounts of money for charging people’s phones.

Solar phone charging business is very lucrative because:

  • Most African countries are known for epileptic power supply.
  • Everyone uses phone.
  • It is convenient and cheap for the customers.

Water Business

 

Most rural communities in Africa are known to lack the most basic amenities such as electricity, clean water, and so on. This is why Water Business is a good idea.

An entrepreneur can set up a borehole and a solar powered pumping machine which is used to provide clean water and sold at affordable rates to the people within the community.

Wholesales Of Solar Products

Wholesaling is the sale and distribution of solar products to retailers. Wholesalers are usually the importers who stock large volumes of solar equipment.

These guys usually import all kinds of materials, equipment, appliances and materials relating to solar energy from overseas manufacturers or major distributors in the USA, Europe and Asia.
As expected, playing at this level requires a significant amount of capital. The exact figures will depend on the type of equipment and volume.

Solar Installation Service

Installation service contractors are the technical guys who do the actual work of fixing solar panels to rooftops and setting up the entire system to make it work for customers.

Due to their skill, these guys are contracted by individual customers; and work on government and NGO projects. They also help to maintain, service and fix problems relating to solar systems.

Ice Making

On a regular day, production and sales of ice is a lucrative business in Africa due to lack of electricity and hot weather.

With the invention of solar ice machines, be sure to be raking in all the cash. In a community where there is irregular supply of power, this is a hit business as you can make and sell ice to several people who need it to run their daily business.

Ice Production is lucrative because:

  • Apart from the machine, ice production is not capital intensive.
  • Ice is related to consumption, there are hardly any low days.
  • You can be a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer at the same time, at no cost.

Retails Of Solar Products

Retailers are the folks who buy in smaller quantities from wholesalers. They usually don’t stock huge quantities of products and often sell directly to consumers.

Unlike the wholesaler who stocks goods in a warehouse or depot, a retailer is likely to sell his products from a shop or stall. Of course, retailers require much less capital to start up and offer a wide range of options to customers.

AGBOJU MARKET CLEANUP

There is a wise saying that “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, but in the case where everywhere is filthy, what then do we say? A clean environment is essential for human health and well-being. We need a clean environment so we can live healthy lives and leave future generations a healthy Earth.  

 

 

There have been changes in the environment in every time period but the biggest and most negative changes are happening today which take drastic toll on the planet.

A lot of groups and people are doing everything they can to raise awareness about the importance of a clean environment and to make the environment healthier. Unfortunately, it is still not enough. The only way we are going to achieve a clean environment is if everyone works together to take care of our planet.

 

 

#AgbojuCleanup was borne out of the need to educate people on the benefits of regular cleaning of the environment and proper waste disposal. It is an environmental community service organised by Salpha Energy, with the support of Susty Vibes, ReesAfrica and Let’s Do It Nigeria – organisations that champion sustainability and sustainable practices.

 

Agboju Cleanup held on Saturday, 25th November, 2017 at 7:00am; was themed “…clean energy for a cleaner environment” and had about 30 participants (volunteers included). All parties got together at the market, geared up in their hand gloves and nose guards, equipped with their brooms and rakes; and commenced cleaning.

It was a fun filled event as each person had the opportunity to network and connect with other like-minded persons.

We met with the executives of Agboju Market.

See more pictures below…

LACK OF ELECTRICITY: A Disease

Across the globe, 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity, with a very high percentage (57%) of such people being Africans. About 68% percent of these Africans live in sub-saharan Africa and this adds up to about 625 million people without power, according to the International Energy Agency. Cutting close to home, it is quite shocking to discover that only 45% of Nigeria’s population is currently connected to the national grid, yet regular supply is still restricted to just about 25% of the population. The question now is, why are 55% of Nigerians living off the grid? And on a larger scale, why do 1.2 billion people not have access to electricity?

Lack of electricity in most developing countries can be tied to endemic corruption on the parts of the leaders and policy makers, inconsistent government policies, non prioritization of electricity by the government and inadequate gas supply to thermal generation plants/transmission infrastructure. What those in these key positions do not know is that, lack of electricity is the major cause of the underdevelopment that has engulfed Africa.

Without stable power supply, systems cannot work as they should. Development projects, public and private investments cannot run and achieve their intended goals. Lack of electricity has its implications at all levels; from the simple household level to the national and international levels.

SCENARIO ONE:

At the lowest level, which is the household level, a child that has access to stable electricity is productive in everything he does, and this gives him a fair chance at succeeding in all he does. This way, he is useful to his family, friends and society at large.

SCENARIO TWO:

The flipside of scenario one is that, lack of electricity can make a child become a nuisance and if care is not taken, such child becomes a nonentity in the society.

There are several other consequences of lack of electricity and most man-made calamities in African countries can one way or another be linked to lack of electricity.

It is our objective at Salpha Energy to eradicate energy poverty, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. In doing this, we are offering easier access to clean energy by first reaching those at the end of the rope (off-grid) at very affordable costs, while educating them on this alternative; a sustainable source of energy, whose benefits are numerous. Our vision is to bridge the gap between the well-developed urban areas and the underdeveloped rural places. We are starting with those at the grassroots; the ones that are easily forgotten, the ones with no access whatsoever to energy. This is why we are introducing cheap and easy-to-use home appliances, so that even the poorest can afford them.

Every person or household is presently at one tier or another. We aim to ensure that every individual or household continuously upgrades to the next tier until everyone reaches the peak and enjoys the full potential of clean energy.

How To Cultivate Energy-Saving Habits

Energy efficiency helps keep more resources on earth longer. Cultivating energy saving habits helps you do more with less energy. When you use less energy, you save precious natural resources and cut down on pollution. On the long run, being energy efficient safeguards the planet by decreasing the overall demand for energy.

Below are some tips on how to save energy:

Turn off all lights and electronics when not in use

Switch off all computers, televisions, telephones, air conditioning units, lights, and other electronics when you’re not using them. This can help reduce your energy consumption and save you some money on the long run. Unplug electronics or appliances that you rarely use like an air conditioner in the guest room or the washing machine.

 

Switch all bulbs to energy saving bulbs

Change all your incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs which are now widely spread and affordable. LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs and come in a various designs and capacities.

 

Use appliances efficiently at all times

Get the settings right on all your appliances and choose the appropriate modes that are energy efficient. For instance, some appliances have a power-save switch, you can always make use of this function. You should also be diligently observant when using your electronics, like double checking to see that the refrigerator/oven door is tightly sealed to retain its temperature.

Educate those around you on energy efficiency

The attitude of those around you is a vital component in saving energy. Keep your family, neighbours and workmates informed about energy-efficiency and recognize them for their support in energy saving. The more informed and educated they are on energy saving tips, the better for everyone.

Switch large appliances for smaller ones that still meet your needs

Large appliances are known to consume more energy than smaller ones, so it is advisable to stick to the the small ones that meet your need. For instance, you can switch a really big refrigerator for a small one that is still able to house all your consumables. Energy is saved and everyone is happy.

 

Reduce your reliance on appliances

You can cut down on your energy use by adjusting your daily activities. Look at each appliance in your home to determine if you really need it and if you’re using it to its full potential. If you decide that you are not using it to its full potential, give it out to someone who really needs it. You can also try doing some chores manually to help save some energy.