The Government of Kenya has launched KSh 4.7 billion facility under the Kenya-Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) aimed at supporting the private sector to provide solar and clean cooking solutions and also to boost access to electricity to about 1.1 million in 14 marginalized counties.
The project will be financed by World Bank and implemented by Ministry of Energy alongside the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) under The Results-Based Financing (RBF) and Debt Facilities.
World Bank has issued USD 150 million (KSh 15 billion) to enable KOSAP to overcome the challenge of inaccessible electricity and establish viable off-grid solutions for areas that are too far for the national grid to be economical.
Part of the project’s plan entails the construction of about 151 mini-grids, the installation of stand-alone solar systems, replacing 380 diesel pumps with solar for drinking water and providing 150,000 clean cooking stoves to some of these counties.
Dr Eng. Joseph Njoroge, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy, noted that off-grid solutions are the only viable alternative for some of the dispersed settlements in marginalized communities, which represents 20% of Kenya’s population.
These counties include West Pokot, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Garrisa, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Narok.
“The country has made great strides in achieving connectivity with access to electricity standing at 75% through both grid and off-grid options. However, access to electricity is low in the 14 marginalized counties, which represent 72% of the country’s total land area,” he said.
On the other hand, Patrick Thaddayos Balla, World Bank K-OSAP Task Team Leader, noted that the Institution is committed to support the Government and ensure that the counties access energy through off-grid solutions.
The RBF and Debt Facilities specifically aim to establish sustainable supply chains for marketing and sales of solar home systems in KOSAP counties, and it has been categorized into Solar Service Providers Results-Based Financing, Solar Service Providers Debt Facility (SSP Debt Facility), and Clean Cooking Solutions Challenge Fund.
The Government has appointed the consortium of SNV-SunFunder to manage the facilities on its behalf.