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Nigerian Entrepreneur Finds an Alternative for the Country’s Energy Crisis

Although Nigeria has vast energy reserves, more than 92 million people in the country live without access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. But generators are noisy, expensive, and pollute the air. Entrepreneur Olugbenga Olubanjo is offering an alternative. His company Reeddi rents out small, lightweight solar-powered batteries called “Reeddi Capsules” that can power devices including TVs, laptops and refrigerators. Reeddi was one of the finalists for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, which recognizes ambitious efforts to fix environmental problems. In a podcast, the Prince of Wales said that “the capsule will have a huge influence on communities where energy poverty is a big deal.” Reeddi Capsules can be bought along with a solar panel for around $430 or rented from “mom-and-pop shops” for 24 hours for around 50 cents, charged using solar panels operated by Reeddi. Olubanjo says one battery can power a TV for around five hours, or a 15-watt fan for 15 hours. That makes it considerably more expensive than using mains electricity, but it’s often cheaper than running a generator.