2,500 households to access electricity in sh.15 billion solar project

Solar panels at the Moi International Airport.More than 2500 households are set to benefit from a sh 15 billion solar project by the World Bank PHOTO JANET MURIKIRA

The government in partnership with the world bank has set aside Kshs. 15 billion to facilitate an off-grid solar power access project to 2,500 households across the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta, said on Tuesday.

The project will also see 800 public facilities access low-cost power in 14 counties, in what the president said was part of government’s broader target of attaining an additional 1.9 million solar-based connections through the Kenya National Electrification Strategy that was launched in 2018.  

“Evidence is abound that to realize sustained social-economic development, provision of sufficient and clean electricity is a critical enabler,” the President said when he presided over the opening of the 6th Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo in Nairobi.

He encouraged the private sector to get involved in such initiatives saying his government had provided an enabling environment for such projects.

“We have given import duty exemptions on a range of solar products to ensure both profitability for investors as well as affordability and high-quality products on the part of consumers,” the president said. 

The meeting, organized by the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry (GOGLA), and the World Bank’s Lighting Global Program, seeks to accelerate the development of the global off-grid solar market as part of efforts towards the achievement of universal energy access target by 2030.

Kenya has been recognized as the world’s second-largest stand-alone solar market after India, and president Kenyatta said there was still vast untapped potential and room for greater growth.

World Bank Country Director Carlos Felipe said the World Bank was working with other governments across Africa and around the globe to replicate the success of the Kenyan solar project experience.