Solar mini-grids to fill electricity gap

Mini-grids operate optimally in areas where the population is too small or remote for grid extension

In Summary

• Mini-grids operate optimally in areas where the population is too small or remote for grid extension and standalone solar systems .

• Approximately 75 per cent of Kenyans have access to electricity from grid and off-grid sources with most of them in urban areas.

Sample of solar panels
Sample of solar panels

Adoption of solar mini-grids offer the best option to electrify remote locations, filling the 25 per cent electricity gap in the country by 2022, according to an expert

Davis & Shirtliff  division manager, Norman Chege said the mini-grid is being a decentralised hybrid system of the national grid and solar can function separately from the national grid.

He said mini-grids operate optimally in areas where the population is too small or remote for grid extension and standalone solar systems are not viable for larger electricity needs.

 

"Adoption of solar mini-grids would offer the best option to electrify remote locations,’’ he said.

Chege said providing electricity to rural populations can be done through grid extension, standalone solar systems and mini-grids.

The grid extension connects communities to the national grid, but is  expensive.

“Solar systems are the next solution to connect people without the option of connecting to the national grid since they are a stand-alone system,” he said.

According to the World Bank, approximately 75 per cent of Kenyans have access to electricity from grid and off-grid sources with most of them in urban areas.

The 2022 Kenya National Electrification Strategy (KNES) seeks to identify and implement least cost options for bringing electricity to the remaining 25 per cent of households and businesses in remote areas across the country.