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ENERGY

State funds firms to take solar power to 14 counties

The Sh390 million funding is part of the Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project

In Summary
  • Renewable energy currently accounts for 73% of Kenya's installed power generation capacity
  • The country aims to have 600 megawatts of solar power by 2030.
The Kesses Solar Project which is based in Eldoret received Sh3.9 billion.
The Kesses Solar Project which is based in  Eldoret received Sh3.9 billion.
Image: COURTESY

Kenyans living in areas with limited regular power supply will benefit from solar power in a Sh390 million state funding deal targeting 14 counties.

The work will be undertaken by 14 private firms picked and funded by the state.

This is part of Kenya's partnership with the World Bank and SNV through the Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP).

Kenya seeks to achieve a full transition to clean energy by the year 2030.

Renewable energy currently accounts for 73 per cent of Kenya's installed power generation capacity while 90 per cent of electricity in use is from green sources among them geothermal, wind, solar and hydro-electric installations.

The country aims to have 600 megawatts of solar power by 2030.

The funding is meant to ensure the establishment of sustainable supply chains for the marketing and sale of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the targeted areas in a drive to achieve universal access to electricity in 2026 in the country.

The project runs for a year to June 2023.

It is also expected to spur actors in the private sector to invest more in modern solar solutions and the provision of clean cooking solutions in counties that are not served by the national electricity grid.

This is the second phase of funding that will benefit semi arid counties including Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo and West Pokot.

Others are Turkana, Samburu, Narok, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu. 

Some of the firms that received the funding include Barefoot Power Limited, Bboxx Capital Limited, Brenhert Investments Limited, dlight Limited, Econome Limited, Elcom Networks Limited and Equity Bank Limited.

Also to be funded include GIVE Limited, Givewatts Limited, Krystal Solutions Limited, M-KOPA Solar Limited,Engie Mobisol Limited, Solar Panda Limited and Solibrium Limited.

The firms are set to sell 122,085 SHS under this phase up from the 96,000 sold in the first phase.

“Disbursement to the firms will be done in two phases, 50/50, under due diligence and accountability which will incentivise the firms on meeting sales targets,” KOSAP said. 

This is done to ensure budget compliance among the firms having experienced vast challenges in the first component mainly funds misuse and unaccountability.

In the first phase, KOSAP allocated Sh500 million to 19 firms where 10 were standalone solar systems while nine were clean cooking component firms.

Energy Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa said the initiative is a major milestone for KOSAP and appealed to the target residents to buy sustainable solar products in meeting their daily energy needs.

“I challenge the selected SSPs to leverage the funding to sell more units and build viable enterprises in the process since it's modelled to support private sector players to establish viable businesses in the targeted counties,” Kihalangwa said.

The firms were told to include women and minorities in their target groups. were also asked to champion the social safeguarding initiatives most importantly women's engagement and minority inclusion.