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How Energy Availability Changes a Lifestyle – UK vs. Nigeria

Posted by: Q Energy
Category: News & Blogs

Western living makes it easy to take luxuries for granted. At the flick of a switch, push of a button or the turn of a knob the UK has power instantly.

In short, electricity plays a huge part in our everyday lives. Whether it is at home, school, the local shopping centre or our workplace, our daily routines rely heavily on the use of electricity.

From the moment we wake up until we hit the pillow our lifestyles are completely dependent on electricity. Now let’s take a moment to imagine what would happen if we have a blackout or have frequent load shedding which is a usual scenario in Nigeria.

For Nigeria, having a finite amount of electricity supply or even no electricity at all is a common occurrence. Their access rate to electricity currently stands at less than 57%, which means 85 million Nigerians don’t have access to grid electricity and the communities can experience up to 10 power cuts a day, with their length varying anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 days. This makes Nigeria the country with the largest energy access deficit in the world.

What’s so concerning is it’s this electricity disruption which is affecting the education of tens of thousands and thus stunting the room for educational growth. It is easy to forget and dismiss our western luxuries but when we expose ourselves to another person’s reality we are better able to help those in need. 

Reduced electricity would mean limited access to cooked food, unfavourable conditions at school and home, limited access to instant news updates and latest technologies. We are all, in some way or another dependent on electricity and if and when this luxury is taken away from us we become extremely vulnerable. Most people in the UK would not be ready for a life without electricity or what it means to be without essentials like a functioning toilet or running water.

However, for some, living off the national energy grid is a goal to accomplish but how actually can we do this?

Currently there are systems which can be put in place to reduce our electricity demand such as solar PV panels, wind turbines and hydropower. Solar works very well in Nigeria since they receive over 2,600 hours of sunlight per year. In some cases when excess electricity is generated, batteries are most useful as they allow you to store electricity when you are in need of it. Nigeria has the economic strength and environmental conditions to be a key player in renewable power sources.

Without a doubt we take electricity for granted, but how can we not when it is an ever present force in our everyday lives and we use it without thinking. But with climate change and unpredictable weather extremities, it might be time to give it some thought?

If we start to better manage our electricity it can be very rewarding as you move away from being dependent on any electrical grid system, especially if such disasters strikes and knocks the grid out. Those who live off grid are living proof that it is possible to move away from the grid, all it takes is just a few adjustments.

Q Energy, The Manchester Metropolitan University and Vaya Energy wanted to make it their mission to try to tackle this issue. With the support from InnovateUK and Department for International Development (DFID), Project NICE powers The Capital Science Academy, Abuja, a school in Nigeria alongside the neighbouring community (Dafara) with the aim of providing them with reliable electricity. The Q Energy Dashboard platform enables them to have reliable, cheap and green energy through renewable generation which they are able to monitor and manage using the provided QEnergyTM Dashboard. Project NICE is helping to change the way in which electricity is traded in Nigeria and thus enabling growth and prosperity. 

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