Solar

Kenya on Tuesday launched a 4.7 billion shillings (4.7 million U.S. dollars) project for the private sector to provide solar solutions in marginalized counties.

The facility under the Kenya-Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) is aimed at spurring the private sector to provide viable solar and clean cooking solutions in the 14 marginalized counties.

Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary in the ministry of energy, said the country has made great strides in achieving connectivity with access to electricity standing at 75 percent through both grid and off-grid options.

“However, access to electricity is low in the 14 marginalized counties, which represent 72 percent of the country’s total land area and 20 percent of the population. The dispersed settlements in the marginalized counties make off-grid solutions the only viable alternative for access to electricity,” Njoroge said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The results-based financing (RBF) and debt facilities under the KOSAP are financed by the World Bank and implemented by the ministry of energy alongside the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC).

They are intended to ensure that counties that are not served by the grid and have been classified as marginalized by Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) are not left behind and receive access to energy through off-grid solutions.

Through financing from the World Bank of 150 million dollars, KOSAP seeks to overcome these challenges and establish viable off-grid solutions for areas that are too far for the national grid to be economical.

Patrick Thaddayos Balla, World Bank K-OSAP Task Team Leader said the project targets about 1.3 million people from the 14 marginalized counties.

Balla said this will be realized through the construction of about 151 mini-grids in the target counties as well as the installation of stand-alone solar systems under the financing launched on Tuesday.

“The World Bank is committed to supporting the Government of Kenya in achieving the universal access goal laid out in the Kenya National Electrification Strategy and is partnering with the government to ensure that nobody in the target counties is left behind in accessing modern energy services,” said Balla.

The project also targets replacing 380 diesel pumps with solar for drinking water, and expects to facilitate the provision of 150,000 clean cooking stoves in West Pokot, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu and Isiolo.

The RBF and Debt Facilities specifically aim to establish sustainable supply chains for marketing and sales of solar home systems in KOSAP counties. Enditem

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