Kenya Prepares to Expand Solar Mini Grids into Poorest Rural Areas

Kenya plans to launch a $150 million project this year to bring solar electricity to markets, schools, shops and homes in poor, off-grid areas without existing power access, officials say.

The effort, expected to receive World Bank funding in March, would bring mini-grid solar plants to areas of 14 counties categorised by Kenya’s government as marginalised, according to World Bank documents.

Such off-grid systems are the cleanest and most cost effective way to bring electrical power to poor areas, particularly those sparsely populated, Kenyan officials said.

“Solar photovoltaics and mini-grids are the most effective way of supplying power to settlements with 300-400 inhabitants, and Kenya is one of the best prepared countries in Africa in providing such solutions,” said Pavel Oimeke, the director of renewable energy at Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission.

http://www.eco-business.com/news/kenya-prepares-to-expand-solar-mini-grids-into-poorest-rural-areas/

Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

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