Despite Nigeria being Africa’s largest oil producer, the country continues to experience an energy crisis that is costly for businesses, government and citizens. Also, one in three people in the country lack access to electricity. In 2018, most firms in Nigeria had experienced more than 32 power blackouts.
Work and life must continue and so there is a heavy reliance on backup generators across the country. However, these diesel-powered generators are harmful to the environment as well as costly to run. The situation makes it difficult to not only start a business but run it as well.
“We came up with a solution that is not only good for the environment but is also reliable and sustainable,” said Emmanuel Ezenwere, CEO and co-founder of the organisation.
The solution is called Powerhub, a compact, light and sleek cuboid unit that can be charged using solar, a generator or electricity mains. It is small and light enough to make it easily portable and when fully charged, can power a standing fan, a 45 watts television and three lightbulbs for 10 hours.
So popular is the unit, said Ezenwere, that it currently provides affordable, uninterrupted power supply to about 100 million Nigerians.
“Our Powerhub provides the best power/energy storage capacity-to-cost ratio. This has seen us able to provide uninterrupted power supply to millions of Nigerians because we have significantly reduced the cost barrier. We focused on reducing cost because it greatly hampers access to power for millions of our citizens whether in their homes or businesses,” he added.
Arone Energy started with the provision of logistics infrastructures like drones, drone delivery, drone operations and licenses before venturing into electronics.
The startup uses smart aerial logistics technology powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and renewable sources of energy to deliver medical supplies from urban health facilities to those in remote, rural areas using drones.
Arone’s Powerhubs are locally produced to provide affordable electricity to homes and businesses.
The firm is supporting government initiatives to meet the country’s sustainable goals by accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources.
“The significant impact of Powerhubs is that most of our customers are moving away from generators and relying solely on our devices to power their homes and businesses. By doing this, we are offsetting carbon dioxide emissions,” said Mr Ezenwere.
The smallest unit of the Powerhub devices goes for about 160,000 Naira while the biggest unit costs about 270,000 Naira. Customers also have the option of paying in instalments. Already, the devices are positively impacting the environment and communities in various ways. For instance, use of Powerhubs has resulted in 7.3 million Naira cumulative savings in generator fueling and maintenance costs so far, and has offset 2.3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Arone’s vision is to pioneer breakthrough energy solutions, and Powerhub is the starting point as the firm seeks to produce even more new energy solutions that improve the quality of life for millions of Nigerians. The firm also wants to expand its physical footprint and have more factories and offices across the globe.