Nigeria to reduce energy shortage through the use of solar panels in the commercial sector
The Nigerian state of Lagos, home to the country's largest urban agglomeration, plans to commission 600 MW of solar generating capacity. As the PV Magazine says, the photovoltaic panels will be placed on the rooftops of industrial and commercial buildings, and help alleviate Lagos' energy shortage exceeding 80%.

The estimated gap between energy supply and its demand in Lagos is between 33 and 43 TWh per year, which is comparable with the annual generation in Hong Kong (35 TWh) and New Zealand (44 TWh, according to BP). To reduce the energy shortage, the state authorities also plan to deploy 200 MW of photovoltaic panels in the residential sector. The result will be a multiple increase of solar generating capacity, the amount of which in Nigeria was only 33 MW in late 2021. However, the gas and hydropower plants (HPPs) will keep their defining role in the Nigerian power industry, with a capacity of 10.9 GW and 2.1 GW, respectively. Gas accounted for 76% of Nigeria’s actual generation in 2021, while HPPs accounted for 22% (with all the other sources accounting for 2%), according to the Ember Research Center estimates.

The use of solar panels in the “non-residential” sector is steadily gaining popularity in the developing countries. For example, the government of the Delhi metropolitan area in India is going to make mandatory installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of the governmental buildings to meet half of the electricity demand from solar energy by 2030. Meanwhile, Delhi accounted for 83% of the nationwide increase in the rooftop solar panel capacity (230 MW) between 2016 and 2021.

Installation of photovoltaic panels in the residential sector in the developed countries is often stimulated by fiscal mechanisms. For example, when purchasing and installing a solar panel at their own expense, the U.S. citizens can get an income tax deduction of 26% of the panel cost (the share would decrease to 22% in 2023). This mechanism is particularly popular in California, Texas, and New York, which accounted for over half of the increase in the solar generating capacity in the U.S. through 2021.


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June 2022