The Wake Of Clean and Sustainable Energy In Kenya.

In a country where the national electric grid system is just about as dependable as a politician handling public funds or, on a lighter note, a monkey handling a Ferarri, we as a country have a long way to go with regards to reliably electrifying the state. Plagued with overly poor and inconsistent service delivery alongside subpar customer service and complaint response, barely a month goes by before a #SwitchoffKPLC trends on major social media platforms such as twitter.

Despite the menial service offered by the energy conglomerate, the cost the average mwananchi incurs for electricity has progressively been on the rise with the latest inflation having been officialized on the 16th of August this year by the ​Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority​ (EPRA). The authority declared that electricity bills will surge by at least Sh 3.83 per Kilowatt-hour. This is to say that a purchase of a Ksh. 250 ​KPLC​ token bundle will yield a token value of Ksh. 148 (14.82 units KWh) with the rest going to tax payments.

This influx is also expected to have a corresponding trickle-down effect on other facilities such as the water bill charge given that the ​Water Resource Management Authority​ comes with attached energy costs from hydropower plants.

Given the performance gap clearly present in the electric grid system, there has been an undying need to innovate and develop working solutions that will improve the electric state of the state. Chief among the key novel companies contributing a great deal towards solving this problem is, ​M-Kopa​, a clean energy company that installs solar panels coupled with lithium-ion batteries.

In a tentative span of seven years, the company has managed to connect more than 500,000 homes with sustainable solar power with 500 new homes joining suit every day. From the words of one of the key investors, Le Duc, the firm pays a keen focus on providing clean energy in grassroot regions where the grid is yet to extend to, therefore alleviating the need for there to be established grid systems.

The cost of the system has also been considered. Given that the main dwellers of the grassroot regions targetted by the company are low-income earners, the company has progressively worked around this to ensure that they lease their systems for the same cost of a daily supply of wood or kerosene. At Ksh 50 a day, they are a long mile ahead of the national grid in terms of affordability. Customers without bank accounts can pay through their mobile phones making the system even more efficient to grassroot dwellers.
Other notable mentions revolutionizing the clean energy space include ​Mobisol​, ​Strauss Energy​, ​Trine​, ​Clasp​, ​W-Power ​and ​Solektra International​ to mention but a few. With the ever stiffening war against climate change, solutions like these help developing countries transition from the eco-harsh fossil fuels and replace them with clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. They are also a massive up from conventional grid services which, in most cases such as our local case, prove to be vastly inefficient and unnecessarily expensive. With such innovations, the distasteful possibility of the lights going off while the champions league final is likely to be a thing of the past.



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