Nigeria has a mini power grid market that is worth $9 billion or N3.2 trillion annually, which is the largest in the world, the CEO of PyroGenesys Ltd, Simon Ighofose, has said.
Ighofose, whose firm won a pitch in the round 6 of the InnovateUK KTN's Energy Catalyst, stated this on Thursday in Abuja during the launch of the round 9 of the energy funding scheme.
Citing a survey by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Ighofose said, "51 per cent of the Nigerian population lives in rural areas far from the national grid. This means there are over 80 million people in Nigeria's rural areas without access to power.
"Development of off grid alternatives to complement the grid creates a $9bn (N3.2tr) yearly market opportunity for mini grids."
He also noted that Nigeria produced 25 tons of cassava, rice and maize wastes yearly which can generate 18 terawatts hour of renewable energy equivalent to 2000 megawatts daily.
The Regional Lead of the Global Alliance Africa, Sophie West, said for the InnovateUK KTN's round 9, applicants will get a £20 million (about N10.1 billion) grant for energy innovations, with over £60m grants given for 360 projects in eight rounds already.
MD of the rural electrification agency, Ahmad Salihijo, said the three key drivers for energy access are technical expertise, funding and investor friendly environment.
"This particular brokerage event by InnovateUK is timely as it is designed to connect players to opportunities both locally and globally," he noted.
The Knowledge Transfer Manager of UKInnovate, Joshua Adedeji, said the pitch which closes by 10th August would require potential Nigerian innovators to partner with a UK innovator to submit pitches on energy, transforming energy access and gender equality and social inclusion.
Dave Nwosu, whose Nevadic Ltd got £1m in the eight round, said the group was developing a sodium ion battery system for portable solar home systems which is cheaper than the lithium ion battery.
"Very soon, Nigeria will become the testing ground for this innovation. With our partnership, we are making the manufacturing of batteries a reality in Nigeria," he said.