BrightWorld

Dreams, Optimism, Wisdom

SOLAR POWER TAKE-OFF: KENYA CASE August 20, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning!

Kenya could be a name that brings images of political or communal violence, as what happened recently to the country. Such images however do not provide an accurate picture of the brighter developments in the country.

Among the heartwarming news in the country today is the take-off of solar energy. Cost efficiency considerations as well as the lack of power grids often optimize the chances of solar for adaptation most specially in rural areas, such as the news caption below indicates.

Happy reading!

[01 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Solar power takes off in Kenya

Source: East African Standard

17 June 2008 | EN

Solar panels are proving popular in Kenya

Flickr/Pink Dispatcher

The expense and unreliability of electricity supply is fuelling East African interest in solar energy.

In rural Kenya, where there is no electricity, solar systems have proven popular with small-scale businesses and farms, where it is used to power water pumps and lighting.

Solar energy is cheap compared to electricity because, once the necessary equipment has been installed, there is no additional monthly charge.

Additionally solar systems require little maintenance, owing to the lack of moving parts, and solar energy offers “a stable grid quality output without power fluctuations”.

Private company Solar World East Africa is set to launch “solar kits” that provide enough power for lighting, charging a mobile phone and operating an FM radio. These packs will cost 3,000 Kenyan shillings each (around US$47).

Another company, Jua Moto Systems, is planning to introduce solar-powered cookers and water heating systems.

But despite this growing interest, “solar power has not been as thoroughly explored as hydroelectric and geothermal power in Kenya … the use of wind and solar energy has remained low, just like in the rest of Africa”.

Link to full article in the East African Standard

 

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