Developing Clean Energy in Nigeria: Data-Centric Solutions for a Solar-Hybrid Company

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2018-04-27

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Abstract

Nigerians have long suffered from high electricity prices and an unreliable grid with limited generation and transmission capacity. As a result, many residential customers and businesses have turned to generating their own power with diesel generators. While this alternative provides them with reliable power and freedom from the grid, these generators are expensive and highly polluting. Because Nigerians are spending so much money on expensive diesel, there is a nascent market for more affordable renewable technologies.

Aspire Power Solutions (APS) is a start-up company that addresses the reliability problems of the grid and the health problems of diesel generators by providing citizens with a cleaner, cheaper alternative: solar-hybrid systems. APS has begun selling these systems to commercial and residential customers in urban areas, with hopes of expanding into rural and off-grid regions in the future. As the company continues to grow, APS wants to leverage data in their business strategy to offer the best solutions and experience for their customers.

This Master’s Project presents an analysis of data-based strategies APS can employ to

  1. optimize their solar-hybrid system design,
  2. determine which customers are the most creditworthy, and
  3. access crowdfunding sources to finance their clean energy projects.

The paper develops recommendations for each of these three focus areas and the resources and capabilities needed to successfully implement these changes. When designing their solar-hybrid systems, APS should leverage hourly solar generation data and customer load profiles to optimize the size of the PV panels and battery for each system. To estimate a customer’s ability to make payments, APS should consider their current expenses on diesel fuel and incorporate this constraint into their system design. With respect to crowdfunding, various existing platforms are discussed along with the advantages of partnering with blockchain companies to crowdfund projects.

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Ferrero, Vanessa (2018). Developing Clean Energy in Nigeria: Data-Centric Solutions for a Solar-Hybrid Company. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16583.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.