Solar firm GeNNex is set to construct its manufacturing plant in Kenya as it eyes the rapidly expanding solar energy sector.
Nathaniel Peat, GeNNex Co – Founder, says Kenya has become an important market for them, having already invested $256,080 in the market.
The firm will be training about 40 young people in Kibera in conjunction with Kibera Slum Community on how to build, assemble and maintain their solar devices so as they are able to make it a viable business for them. They will also be looking to Eldoret, Narok and Nakuru after Kibera.
He spoke of initially testing the market in Kenya before making the decision to set up shop. Moreover, their work is mainly focused on empowering communities. This is accomplished by teaching them how to build, assemble and maintain the firm’s devices. This initiative also creates a workforce that supports commercial sales, while providing education, learning and jobs.
Kenya is said to have a high potential for solar energy production given the high exposure levels from the sun throughout the year. The intensity of sunlight, not heat, determines solar electricity production. Kenya is highly suitable because of its vibrant private sector, particularly in the small-scale Photovoltic(PV) market, including M-Kopa Solar and dLight.
As of 2010, over 320,000 rural households that represent 4.4% of rural people in Kenya had solar home systems. Annually, it is estimated that 25,000-30,000 PV systems are sold in the market. Moreover, statistics indicate that solar PV lantern sales have reached to about one million units in 2014.
Figures from the Energy Regularity commission (ERC) of Kenya indicate that the total installed capacity is likely to be over 20Megawatt Peak (MWp) as of January 2015 with projections to grow by 15% annually.
PV systems commercially distributed to rural areas of Kenya typically consist of 14 to 20MWp, wiring, rechargeable battery, sometimes a charge controller system, lighting systems, and connections to small appliances.
GeNNex produces solar products that charge phone devices and provide power to homes, using off-grid systems. The company is already in other countries including Zambia, United Kingdom and Jamaica.