Rural Spark, a social start-up from Den Bosch, and SmartPower Nigeria set out to electrify around one million unelectrified households in the west-African country within the next five years. With the rapidly growing population in Nigeria, the country is expected to surpass countries like the United States, Indonesia and Brazil in the next 30 years if it comes to population. “The majority of this population growth is expected to happen among those households with poor access to electricity”, Rural Spark says in a press release.

Electrifying Nigeria is no easy job. “The target markets are scattered across the country. There are an estimated 90 million people living without electricity in Nigeria. There is another group of 100 million people that are under-served with power, having 2-4 hours of electricity every 48 hours. Therefore, we hope to serve both the unserved and underserved population in Nigeria.”

Rural Spark expects these figures to increase over the years as the per capita income increases and the economic indices also get better. “We will listen to the market and have a continuous R&D to keep meeting the needs of our customers.”

SmartPower Nigeria is a part of First Independent Global, active in several sectors in Nigeria. Located in Lagos, FIG SmartPower Limited is lighting up Nigeria through providing access to the solution by Rural Spark. The company seeks to ultimately provide energy for the whole country.

Tolu-tope Dade, CEO of Smartpower Nigeria says: “The sector is prepared and we have positioned ourselves to be one of the biggest players, bringing power to at least a million households and businesses in the next five years.”

Rural Spark is a social enterprise founded in the Netherlands and with regional offices in Africa and Asia. It focuses on smartly distributed plug & play energy networks. Its solution is innovative yet simple, at the heart of which is a router that smartly manages someone’s energy needs. It allows to power devices and automatically stores surplus energy. “You can use them as a power station, or let the router use this stored energy automatically as soon as the sun sets. The capacity is easily increased over time, by simply adding additional solar panels or Smart Cubes.”

Rural Spark and SmartPower have integrated a PayGo technology, powered by the Rural Spark Service Platform. “This allows for financial products and for smoothening operations. Positioned between a solar home system and a microgrid, the decentralized solution generates the capacity of an average microgrid at lower costs, with a strong sense of ownership.”

Photo: At the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Michel Deelen – Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria – oversaw the announcement of an official partnership between the Dutch Rural Spark and Nigerian SmartPower.