Kenyans living in off-grid areas are set to access more quality solar products after a key modern energy densification project released Sh390 million to sellers of such products.
The funding, issued by the Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) to 14 firms, is meant to help the latter establish sustainable supply chains for the marketing and sale of solar home systems (SHS) in 14 Counties targeted by the project.
The companies are contracted under the second component of KOSAP, where Results-Based Financing (RBF) and Debt Facilities have been established, aimed at spurring private sector actors to invest in modern solar solutions and providing clean cooking solutions in counties that are not served by the national electricity grid.
KOSAP is extending financing to the selected companies as part of the government’s efforts to achieve universal access to electricity by 2026 as per the Kenya National Electrification Strategy. The Solar Results-Based Financing (RBF) Facility is managed by SNV Netherlands Development Organization, on behalf of the Ministry of Energy. The latest one-year funding agreement, the second such disbursement, is being issued under the RBF, which incentivizes the Solar Services Providers (SSPs) for meeting sales targets.
Speaking during an induction ceremony for the 14 SSPs, held today, Energy PS Gordon Kihalangwa said:
“This is a major milestone for KOSAP, which I am glad to note, remains on course. I challenge the selected SSPs to leverage the funding to sell more units and build viable enterprises in the process. This project, which is modelled to support private sector players to establish viable businesses in the underserved Counties, is an optimal option and a key plank in meeting our electrification goals throughout Kenya, so that no one is left behind.
“I appeal to residents of the 14 Counties to take advantage of the project to buy sustainable solar products that have been certified by the international agency Verasol, come with a warranty and are backed by an after-sales infrastructure to meet their daily energy needs, said PS Kihalangwa.”
The 14 firms will be active in the KOSAP Counties (also known as KOSAP Service Territories – KSTs) of Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Narok, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu.
The selected firms, which were picked out of a competitive process, are Barefoot Power Limited, Bboxx Capital Limited, Brenhert Investments Limited, dlight Limited, Econome Limited, Elcom Networks Limited and Equity Bank Limited. Others are GIVE Limited, Givewatts Limited, Krystal Solutions Limited, MS M-KOPA Solar Limited, Engie Mobisol Limited, Solar Panda Limited and Solibrium Limited. They are expected to sell 122,085 SHS using KES 390,000,000, against about 96,000 that have been sold under the project so far.
A five-year, Sh15 billion project funded by the World Bank and being implemented by the Ministry of Energy, Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) since July 2017. The Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) seeks to have 250,000 households served by stand-alone solar systems and 150,000 households served by Clean Cooking Solutions (CCS) by its projected completion in June, 2023.
It further works to construct 137 mini-grids in the targeted Counties that will be used to connect over 54,000 households with solar power. Similarly, about 387 public facilities including secondary schools, health clinics as well as administrative offices will be supplied with solar power under the Project. A total of 380 boreholes that currently use diesel and other fuels will also benefit from the installation of renewable solar power.