Kenya launches US $461m off grid solar solutions

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The government of Kenya has launched US $461m facility under the Kenya-Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) aimed at spurring the private sector to provide viable solar and clean cooking solutions to about 1.1 million people across the country.

Dr Eng. Joseph Njoroge, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy confirmed the reports and said that the project is 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.

“The country has made great strides in achieving connectivity with access to electricity standing at 75% through both grid and off-grid options. However, access to electricity is low in the 14 marginalized counties, which represent 72% of the country’s total land area and 20% of the population. The dispersed settlements in the marginalized counties make off-grid solutions the only viable alternative for access to electricity,” said Dr Eng. Joseph Njoroge.

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Off grid solar solutions

The project entails construction of about 151 mini-grids in the target counties as well as the installation of stand-alone solar systems under the financing launched today. It 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 1.1 million people set to benefit from the project will be from 14 marginalized counties of West Pokot, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Garrisa, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Narok.

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). The Government has appointed the consortium of SNV-SunFunder to manage the facilities on its behalf.

Under the KOSAP Solar Service Providers RBF, a total of US $12m in financing will be provided to compensate solar home systems service providers (SSPs) for the initial, incremental, and opportunity costs associated with an expansion of operations in the KOSAP Service Territories (KSTs). The aim will be to encourage the growth of emerging solar companies where possible and to set a foundation for established solar operators to access debt investments and further scale-up operations in these counties.

 

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