The Government has set up a $47 million (Sh4.7 billion) kitty in partnership with the World Bank to fast-track the uptake of viable solar and clean cooking solutions.
Through the Kenya-Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), the State hopes to increase the private sector’s participation in connecting 1.1 million people in 14 marginalised counties.
These are West Pokot, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Garrisa, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, and Narok.
The results-based financing and debt facilities are courtesy of the World Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Energy alongside Kenya Power, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation.
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi yesterday, Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said the three agencies would implement the project in four components over a five-year period.
He said the project would go a long way in ensuring that counties that are not served by the national grid are not left behind and receive access to energy through off-grid solutions.
“The dispersed settlements in the marginalised counties make off-grid solutions the only viable alternative for access to electricity,” said Njoroge.
Through financing from the World Bank of $150 million (Sh15 billion), KOSAP seeks to establish viable off-grid solutions for areas that are too far for the national grid to be economical.
The project targets 277,000 households (approximately 1.3 million people from the 14 marginalised counties).
This will be realised through the construction of about 151 mini-grids in the target counties as well as the installation of stand-alone solar systems under the financing launched today.
The project also targets replacing 380 diesel pumps with solar for drinking water and expects to facilitate the provision of 150,000 clean cooking stoves in West Pokot, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu and Isiolo.