Conversation with Uvie Ugono of Solynta Energy: Powering Nigeria with the Sun

This tweetchat was held on the 23rd of June 2016

Solynta Energy only started in 2013, but is already a leading provider of solar systems in Nigeria. The company targets urban populations and has provided solar systems of all sizes, from 500 watts to 50KW! They aim to make solar affordable for all, and want to install 20 million solar systems by 2023. Uvie Ugono founded Solynta Energy and is leading the company to achieve this goal!!!

Please tell us a bit about Solynta Energy

Solynta Energy is the leading Solar Power Company in Nigeria, with over 1MW of rooftop solar installations.

What would you say is a reason Solynta Energy has been so successful?

We have combined high quality services with an innovative financing package, giving people confidence, and also making it very affordable for them to do so. This has led to a very high take up, and referrals.

Do Solynta Energy system owners need to own their home to have solar on it?

No they don’t, they simply need to get permission from their landlord to install on their roof. When they move they can take the system with them.

Why are you focused on urban residents, as opposed to rural?

Urban dwellers are spending a fortune running polluting generators. We not only reduce their expenses dramatically, but also stimulate the economy as these savings can be pumped back into the economy. Also, this market is the easiest to reach.

Did the recent Foreign Exchange (FX) issues affect Solynta Energy’s business at all?

Absolutely. Stock prices have increased by up to 100% this year, but this has encouraged us to fast track local manufacturing, benefiting the local economy. We are starting with batteries, then panels and inverters.

What common challenges do you face when you carry out a solar installation project?

Logistics is the major challenge, due to poor infrastructure, bad state of the roads, no trains.

Are Solynta Energy’s systems backed by warranties? If yes, what is the duration?

Yes. Panels 25 years, Inverters 3 years, batteries 12 months. We also have a comprehensive after sales service.

Who do you see as paving the way for solar use? Home or business?

Primarily homes, because they are in very high numbers and will quickly become visible to everyone.

Are governmental policies aiding the solar energy industry?

We’d like to see a policy where all new homes must have solar panels installed, adding 40,000MW to the grid and dramatically increasing power supply nationwide within a few years.

What challenges (if any) have you experienced with the pay-as-you-go financing model?

It’s a fantastic way to rapidly scale solar usage nationwide in urban areas, but is very capital intensive. As such, we always have far more demand than we can fulfill at any time. We are in discussions with local and foreign investors to meet our huge demand for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Solar.

Find out more about Solynta Energy from their website and Twitter page.

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