ISC3

Shobab Energy – Towards the sustainable electrification of Sub-Saharan Africa

ISC3 – International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre

What's new?

The Nigeria-based start-up Shobab Energy has engaged in addressing the lack of access to electricity that has long plagued Sub-Saharan Africa. This is being done by proposing a novel decentralized biomass-solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid system through the usage of local materials. With Nigeria as the fifth largest palm oil-producing country worldwide, Shobab Energy has confirmed the potential that exists in turning waste into a valuable resource to generate sustainable clean and reliable energy in order to support regional communities and actively solve problems.

Tosin George

Shobab_Energy - team members

Biomass Gasification Plant Reference

Oil Palm Biomass Waste Reference

Year of Foundation: 2020

Addresses the following SDGs: SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

Website:

shobabenergy.com

Reinventing electrification for the community

Nigeria has long struggled with unreliable access to electricity, which has impacted the economic growth and the development focus. The inefficient waste management in the country has contributed to many social and pollution issues that the population has had to endure on a daily basis. When Ms. Tosin George, now co-founder, decided that the situation was something she was no longer willing to accept, she became clear and vocal in her initiative. Through networks and discussions, she managed to attract like-minded individuals, and together, Shobab Energy was born. The team decided to come together and propose an innovative solution with the potential to create a synergic effect that would benefit the community as well as the environment. The philosophy adopted for Shobab Energy came through the team’s expertise in the renewable energies sector and a common understanding of the context in the Sub-Saharan African region. The development of a sustainable electricity generating system needed to be suitable and adaptable to the area, which led the team to decide on the novel idea of combining a biomass gasification plant with solar photovoltaics (PV). Using palm oil biomass waste, an abundant resource in the region, presents a unique opportunity to reduce waste as well as to generate sustainable electricity. Through their subscription-based revenue model, they hope the decentralized systems allows various communities to gain access to sustainable electricity, create a cleaner and healthier environment for many key players involved, and effectively help the region in the long term.

Creating opportunities with a cleaner source of energy

Through the cleaner, more sustainable work done at Shobab Energy, the start-up expects to generate welfare in several ways and provide an alternative to traditional sources of energy known to the region such as kerosene or burn charcoal. The technology will not only offer clean and reliable 24-hour on-demand electricity that the region requires, but additionally cuts down the quantity of CO2 tons released in the atmosphere.  Thereby, Shobab Energy reduces waste and by doing this, increase the quality of life, productivity, and creates employment opportunities also in other industries.

“We are full of ideas and passion for oil palm communities that have low or zero access to electricity. The most important thing that we would have achieved as a company is providing reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity that will drive sustainable growth and development in these communities." Ms. Tosin George, stated.

The name ‘Shobab’ itself was chosen due to its connection of taking a concept and reinventing it. By innovating the approach to electricity accessibility and creating reliable power for rural and urban communities there is space for many opportunities to flourish. The team hopes that by being at the forefront of clean sustainable energy, they can inspire stakeholders and others to a transition towards friendlier and more accommodating renewable energy policies, such as reduction of tax in renewable energy products.

Next up at Shobab Energy

As winners of our ISC3 Innovation Challenge Award 2020/2021 in the category "Best Regional Impact", Shobab Energy is currently looking to scale up its technology and have a larger impact. The start-up is hoping to find meaningful partnerships that could provide insights on technical and advisory assistance. Through their shared cooperation, they hope to grow to be successful at providing sustainable electrification services and solutions to oil palm communities in Nigeria.