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Energy

Nigerian Arnergy makes Bill Gates’s top 5 cleantech companies that will help save the world

Arnergy raised $9 million in a Series A round of funding for renewable energy systems led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

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When Femi Adeyemo founded Arnergy a few years back, his plan was to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy solutions in Nigeria by looking inwards, but providence had another plan for the telecommunications engineering guru, not only because he is hardworking but also because his love for details is unparalleled.

Seven years down the line, Adeyemo has not only built an organization that seamlessly creates solutions that make the environment safer but has successfully built a brand that has got the attention of Bill Gates and his billionaires’ friends. The billionaires included Arnergy Solutions in the Top 5 cleantech outfits that will help save the planet.

Bill Gates’ plan is to invest in scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world. The ultimate goal is to shepherd new zero-emissions technologies to the market.

READ: Nigerian energy startup raises $9 million in Series A funding

With this development, Adeyemo’s Arnergy broke the jinx, not just because it is a Nigerian firm but also because most of Breakthrough Energy’s portfolio companies are located in the United States.

As quoted in a recent article published by Forbes “Operating out of Lagos, Nigeria, Arnergy leases and sells what it calls solar energy systems—bulky cabinet-size apparatuses on wheels fitted with solar panels and batteries that essentially serve as solar-powered generators. The technical gear is accompanied by a software platform that allows clients to monitor and control their energy usage in real-time.”

Arnergy’s goal is to ensure that shops and banks can stay open with its solutions even when the electric grid fails. According to the CEO, Arnergy’s systems allow businesses in countries like Nigeria to pay for clean energy at the same or a lower price as traditional fossil-fuel sources.

“Each of our 5-kilowatt modular systems is displacing diesel and petrol generators on a daily basis,” Adeyemo said.

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READ: DEAL: Shyft Power Solutions raises $3.1m Seed Round to push affordable energy

The Nigerian distributed utility company, Arnergy, raised $9 Million in a Series A round of funding for renewable energy systems led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), ElectriFI (EDFI Management Company), and All On.

The company harnesses the combination of solar power, superior storage solutions and proprietary remote management technologies to deliver scalable, reliable and affordable energy solutions that are tailored to tackle issues related to intermittency and grid unreliability. Since its launch, Arnergy has delivered over 3MW of installed capacity and over 9MWh of storage capacity to business and residential clients across Nigeria.

Adeyemo, who decided to start the business after seeing how the Middle East was using solar energy to power telecom towers, explained that Arnergy sells to both small businesses and large enterprise data centres and has deployed 600 systems to customers that include the Nigerian branches of Citibank and KPMG, as well as industrial conglomerate Dangote Group.

“Here, it’s not a function of ‘it is good for the climate’ alone—it’s also even good for the pockets,” Adeyemo said.

What you should know

Breakthrough Energy Ventures brought together more than 20 (now 28) investors, largely billionaires to invest in scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world. The ultimate goal is to shepherd new zero-emissions technologies to the market.

Since then, it has backed dozens of startups developing green technology innovations that range from replacing fossil fuels with carbon-free equivalents to inventing meat alternatives. “We’re only focused on investments that will have a substantial effect on climate change,” Gates told Forbes earlier this year.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business News

Nigeria’s revenue crisis may further worsen as India cuts oil imports by $39.5 billion

The revenue to be earned by Nigeria has come under further threat due to India’s drop in crude oil importation.

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Now that oil is recovering, when will naira recover?

The revenue to be earned by Nigeria has come under further threat due to India’s drop in crude oil importation.

Data from India’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed that the country, which took over from the United States as Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5 billion in April, compared to the same time the previous year.

According to a report from Punch, the Indian High Commission in Nigeria said that India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03 billion, representing 17% of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year.

India has been badly hit by a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic which led to a spike in infections in April and lockdown in major cities with the attendant negative effect on Nigeria’s oil sales.

The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel, below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below international benchmarks, as Oilprice.com showed.

India had been a major buyer of the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crude that suited its refiners with the Indian Oil Corporation’s refineries reported to be operating at 95% capacity in April, down from 100%.

An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.”

India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to around 2.86 million barrels per day.

Bottom line

This is not good news for Nigeria which is facing a serious revenue crisis as a result of a drop in crude oil receipts.

The federal government is also being forced by the prevailing realities to consider cutting the cost of governance and reducing the salaries of government workers. The latter proposal has, however, been criticized by various stakeholders.

A slump in crude oil demand from Nigeria’s major buyer will further worsen the economic crisis the country is facing having just marginally recovered from a recession in the last quarter of 2020.

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Business News

Oil market reacts as Colonial Pipeline cyber attack affects prices

WTI oil futures are currently up by 1.34% (WoW) to $65.35 and the Brent oil futures are currently up by 1.87% (WoW) to $68.82.

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Sequel to the cyber-attack that hit top U.S. fuel pipeline operator, Colonial Pipeline Co., the price of oil has started to improve. During the Asian session on Sunday, WTI oil opened at $65.52, representing a 0.95% gain from Friday’s $64.9, when the incident happened.

WTI oil futures are currently up by 1.34% (WoW) to $65.35 and the Brent oil futures are currently up by 1.87% (WoW) to $68.82.

Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down its entire operation after the cyberattack. The company so far has given no timeline as to when the pipeline will begin its operation.

“It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort right now… we are working closely with the company, state and local officials, to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply,” U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo said.

The pipeline is responsible for supplying nearly half of all the fuel consumed on the U.S. East Coast and provides refined products to more than 50 million Americans. Because of this, oil prices are likely to increase at several fuel distribution points, including Wilmington in North Carolina, Charleston in South Carolina, and Savannah in Georgia, Tank Tiger CEO, Ernie Barsamian told Bloomberg.

The U.S. government has issued emergency legislation on Sunday, relaxing rules on the fuel being transported by road. The legislation allows for drivers in 18 states to work extra or more flexible hours when transporting refined petroleum products. The temporary waiver issued enables oil products to be shipped to as far as New York but there are worries that this may not be enough to cover demand. This indicates that the pipeline may not be fully operational for some time.

The attack comes as the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination rate is improving. Americans are once again commuting to the office, planning major travel for the first time and booking flights. A prolonged disruption along the pipeline system threatens to send average U.S. gasoline prices above $3.00 a gallon for the first time since October 2014, further encouraging fears of inflation as commodity prices rally worldwide.

In the meantime, fuel producers in the U.S. are weighing options for how to ship their products to the Northeast in case Colonial isn’t restored quickly. Traders and fuel shippers are seeking vessels to deliver gasoline that would have otherwise been shipped on the pipeline while others are securing tankers to temporarily store gasoline in the U.S. Gulf in the event of a prolonged shutdown.

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