- Sector: Renewable Energy
- Country of operations: Nigeria
GVE Projects – the acronym stands for Green Village Electricity – describes itself as a pioneer in the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) micro-utility technology in the West Africa region. Its services include the design, sale, installation and maintenance of solar systems for residential, commercial and rural off-grid communities, as well as energy back-up and energy management systems.
GVE has been taking advantage of that opportunity and is growing fast, with revenues increasing by 250% over the past year and the workforce tripling in size over the same time. “The renewable energy industry in Nigeria is still young but burgeoning,” says CEO Ifeanyi Orajaka. “There is an increasing trend for distributed renewable energy solutions in the country due to the poor level of service from the public utility.”
GVE’s recent growth has been helped by financial support from some major international backers, including equity and debt funding from the impact investment subsidiary of a major oil and gas firm, and support from an arm of the European Investment Bank. “This has significantly helped us in kickstarting our medium-term growth plan of impacting four million people,” says Ifeanyi.
However, despite the company’s strong performance it says that it also faces some significant challenges in developing the market for solar power in Nigeria. “The major challenges facing the PV solar industry include a negative perception by clients, high initial capital expenditure costs, fluctuations in exchange rates, inconsistency in customs charges and limitations in the availability of skilled labour,” says Ifeanyi. “While we are collectively tackling some of the challenges as an industry, through media campaigns and sector-driven standards enforcement and regulation, we seek government support in the medium term.”