The Kenyan government plans to build 137 solar energy mini-grids in remote locations in the East African country. The project received 150 million dollars in funding from the World Bank.
The project is financed by the World Bank, which approved a loan of 150 million dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the project already in 2017.
Aurinkoenergia’s mini-grids electrify 567 public institutions, including high schools, health centers and administrative offices. They also use water pumps for 380 boreholes. The project will make electricity available to approximately 277,000 households, or 1.5 million people.
“Kenya has introduced mini-grids to serve communities that are not connected to the main grid,” says Davis Chirchir, Minister of Kenya’s Ministry of Energy. “At the moment, we have around 62 fully operational mini-grids and 28 under construction. We hope to deploy more mini-grids to reduce energy availability and ensure universal access to electricity by 2030.
The locations of 137 mini-grids were published in the official newspaper in April 2022. Land acquisition is reportedly underway under the guidance of the National Land Commission.
According to KOSAP, some of the challenges that hindered the implementation of projects after funding were due to the high costs of products, the low purchasing power of residents and the fear of companies to work in rural areas.
“While Africa remains the least electrified continent, it also has the greatest potential for solar mini-grid deployment,” said Gabriela Elizondo Azuela, Director of the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Support Program (ESMAP).
“Solar mini-grids can today reach populations that would otherwise wait years to get online. They have the potential to transform the electricity sector in sub-Saharan Africa. With the World Bank’s activities and advice given to governments, ESMAP is helping to make mini-grids a mainstream niche solution.