Susty Person of the Month – Hannah Kabir
Hannah Kabir is the Founder/CEO of Creeds Energy, an indigenous renewable energy company established in 2012 to provide clean energy solutions and services mainly for off-grid applications. She has an MSc. in Renewable Energy, Enterprise & Management from Newcastle University UK. Her first degree was in Business Economics from Queen Mary University of London.
Prior to setting up Creeds, Ms. Kabir worked for six years as a business analyst at Galaxy Backbone Plc, where she was instrumental in strategy and development as well as government relations.
She continues to be an avid proponent of clean energy matters in Nigeria and has contributed to the award-winning documentary on climate change “Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis”.
As a TechWomen Alumna, Ms. Kabir continues to support young girls and women to embrace STEM career paths. She currently serves as the interim Treasurer for the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria.
How exactly did you go from being a business analyst/strategist in the public sector to becoming an energy entrepreneur?
I took a year off work to study renewable energy as a PTDF scholar. While on the course, solar technology and its potentials particularly resonated with me, coming from sunny Nigeria where power supply has always been a problem. I knew I wanted to be involved in work that solves problems and impacts people directly. Renewables was a perfect path for me.
We know that behind the success story of Creeds Energy are heaps of challenges you have had to overcome from gender stereotypes to finances, could you tell us about some of them?
Creeds Energy is a growing company and as such we are constantly evolving. With growth, there will always be pains from which we keep learning to adapt, adjust or change to thrive. I have followed in the footsteps of strong torchbearers in the sector both male and female and personally have not experienced gender stereotypes so far. There is always the element of surprise – a woman from the north, doing business in a field that is somewhat new. I have felt more appreciation and encouragement even from total strangers than animosity.
Realistically, can we totally do away with fossil fuel in Nigeria?
I don’t think it’s about doing away with fossil fuel in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. Fossil fuels are however finite resources while renewable resources are to an extent infinite, although you have intermittency with some resources like wind. It is about having an energy mix that is resource efficient and diversified to ensure energy security. Having a balanced and complementary mix is key to sustainable development.
What makes Creeds Energy different?
Creeds Energy is a professional renewable energy service and solution provider. We are addressing energy and electricity challenges by improving access to and promoting adoption of clean and energy efficient technologies. Our aim is not to just sell products but to ensure that our offerings add value by addressing and solving precise needs. For instance, working with women farmers to solve irrigation challenges so they can farm year-round, working on agro-processing solutions to reduce post-harvest losses, working with local bakeries to improve efficiency of ovens by using less firewood, working with schools to enable constant power supply for educational activities to progress, working with SMEs to provide constant power for their productive activities.
What’s the area of convergence between sustainability and renewable energy?
Renewable energy is a means of achieving sustainability. Contextually, sustainability is achieved by seeking a balance between people, planet, and prosperity – in other words, social development, environmental protection and economic pursuits.
Substandard renewable energy materials have flooded the Nigerian market. What kind of regulations would you propose that Nigeria deploys?
For us at Creeds Energy, quality is paramount in building our brand. As such, we are not the cheapest solutions provider, but we can ensure that our systems perform as required. Therefore, we choose to build relationships with our suppliers and are able to fulfill warranties. It is common to find sub-standard products in every sector. Sometimes you find retailers wanting to make fast money branding their substandard products with a well-known brand/company name. Regulations and agencies – SON, NEMSA exist who are responsible for addressing quality control.
Credible companies have gone further to form a Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria – REAN to promote and safeguard the interests of the private sector practitioners and project developers within the renewable energy sector. REAN is the umbrella association for all Renewable Energy promoters enabling and encouraging the sustainable development of the Nigerian economy through Renewable Energy”. One of REAN’s key intervention area is “to promote professionalism in the industry by encouraging the adoption of good engineering practices, standards and certification systems (quality products, design, installation, and maintenance) among the members of the renewable energy industry.” This we believe will go a long way to address the issue of substandard materials
Which is your favorite SDG and why?
Goal 7- Affordable and Clean Energy; ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy for all.
My reason is that it is directly related to the work I do and I believe achieving Goal 7 is the foundation to realizing most of the other 16 goals.
Tell us one fun thing about yourself that no one knows.
My comfort food is Amala and Ewedu 😊
How can people reach you to learn more about your work?
We can be reached at [email protected]dsenergy.com , Suite A14, TJ 1406 Plaza, 7 Bozoum Street, Wuse II – Abuja.
My email address is [email protected]
More information can be found on our website www.creedsenergy.com