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.