Government Launches KSh4.7 Billion financing for Private Sector to provide Solar Solutions in Marginalized Counties

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The government today launched a KSh 4.7 billion Facility under the Kenya-Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) aimed at spurring the private sector to provide viable solar and clean cooking solutions to about 1.1 million people in the 14 marginalized counties of West Pokot, Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Garrisa, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Narok.

The Results-Based Financing (RBF) and Debt Facilities under the KOSAP are financed by the World Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Energy alongside the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC). They are intended to ensure that counties that are not served by the grid and have been classified as marginalized by Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) are not left behind and receive access to energy through off-grid solutions.

“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 and 20% of the population. The dispersed settlements in the marginalized counties make off-grid solutions the only viable alternative for access to electricity,” said Dr Eng. Joseph Njoroge, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy.

Through financing from the World Bank of KSh 15 billion, KOSAP seeks to overcome these challenges and 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 marginalized counties). This will be realized 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.

“The World Bank is committed to supporting the Government of Kenya in achieving the universal access goal laid out in the Kenya National Electrification Strategy and is partnering with the Government to ensure that nobody in the target counties is left behind in accessing modern energy services,” said Patrick Thaddayos Balla, World Bank K-OSAP Task Team Leader.

The RBF and Debt Facilities specifically aim to establish sustainable supply chains for marketing and sales of solar home systems in KOSAP counties. The Facilities are in three parts: KSh1.2 billion Solar Service Providers Results-Based Financing SSP RBF Facility, KSh3 billion Solar Service Providers Debt Facility (SSP Debt Facility), and KSh500 million Clean Cooking Solutions Challenge Fund.