A recent article from TechCrunch, highlighted Rensource Energy, a Nigerian start up that has raised $20 million in an early round – to light up market places and other commercial real estate hubs across the nation.
They have shifted from their early residential real estate strategy and are zeroing in on large commercial centres such as open air markets.
They design, manufacture and operate micro utility clusters that are comprised of solar arrays and battery banks.
This optimistic endeavor utilizes an innovative software platform that is accessible by mobile devices, and allows for the end users to make payments for their power consumption from their phone. They plan to expand to 100 markets in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Imagine any typical open air market in Nigeria and the scene is commonly chaotic, dirty, noisy, and without electricity.
There is little opportunity for refrigerated goods, light sources, fans, or anything else that relies on power.
The fortunate may have loud and smelly generators, that mooch and drain resources by the minute , and add to the dizzying and unappealing atmosphere of most markets.
This new technology will also provide other amenities to small business owners, who now with stable power can access a variety of desired resources such as capital and banking services. It seeks to help businesses become more streamlined and efficient.
Technology like this can be a game changer. Rather than waiting for the Nigerian government to do the right thing and provide the costly and very unstable standard electrical grid systems to residential areas – yet alone marketplaces, this is an opportunity to hurdle past the “old” methods and utilize cutting edge services that aim to ease the burden of doing day to day business and commerce.
Now the local plantain seller can conduct business from a shed that has power – that can provide even the smallest of conveniences like light, a radio, charging stations for phones, a small fridge perhaps and maybe a fan.
These small comforts can do a lot to improve the psyche and confidence of millions of Nigerians – the very people that are the kindling base for Africa’s largest economy.