For a while it looked as if a plan to turn fruit waste into electricity might bring light for a giant Nigerian market – but then, like so many other power plans, nothing happened. When will renewables really come on line?

Two kids run across the road shouting, “Thief! Thief!” as a big rat races away into a nearby hole for refuge. It has rained and the drains are clogged with waste: the water pools on the road and fills the potholes along the thoroughfare leading to Lagos’s famous Ikosi fruit market.

One of the largest of its kind in the city, the market is a popular spot for trading vegetables and fruit like pineapples, bananas and plantains. But here, like most parts of Nigeria, there is rarely a steady power supply – according to the World Bank, 75 million people in a country of 186 million don’t have access to electricity.

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