It’s Electrifying! Nature’s Power to the People
At the outset of their business, Independent Energy mainly supplied so-called plug-and-play systems to African residents, that complemented the households’ power needs with solar energy during blackout periods of the grid. A similar solar backup system had equally successful been designed for a school in Gambia that suffered from black outs and high electricity costs. Upon system installment in 2019, a major part of the school’s electricity has been supplied by loads from the integrated high quality battery bank. Today, the company’s projects have increased in size, predominantly serving bigger clients, including dairy farms, cooling warehouses, and fish farming plants, among others. For these entities, industrial energy systems are of interest that operate completely autonomous, such as solar diesel hybrid systems – one of the diverse industrial energy systems offered by the Dutch enterprise.
While Independent Energy is determined to offer their energy solutions to all African countries, the enterprise has realised that a fruitful business on the continent crucially depends on the right local partner. “We cannot successfully do business in a country without a strong local partner”, reaffirms Peter and notes that his company is glad to have found such partner in Nigeria, amongst other countries. The Nigerian company SOSAI Renewables, has proven highly valuable for Independent Energy as a close and trustworthy ally on the ground. Only two weeks ago, the Dutch energy solutions broker has agreed to engage in a joint-venture that is planning to invest in mini-grids in rural Nigeria, capable of powering whole communities that currently have either no grid connection or only access to an insufficiently powered grid. Said project could not have been realised without the team of SOSAI Renewables. With a local workforce in Nigeria, Cape Verde, and Sierra Leone, Independent Energy has successfully established its business in Africa. Still, Peter van Zwol is certain that this is only the beginning.