Connecting Kenyans with clean, affordable solar energy
Solar energy provider Mobisol has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to provide 800,000 people and 50,000 small businesses in Kenya with reliable access to solar energy by 2020. In the process, the Berlin-based company plans to create 150 jobs along its value chain and provide training on solar energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100,000 tons each year.
Over 75 percent of Kenya’s population lives without access to electricity. This lack of access is most pronounced in rural areas, where Kenya’s poorest communities are located. Without power to light their homes, charge mobile phones, study and refrigerate food, rural communities are increasingly isolated. Mobisol’s Solar Solutions for Kenya initiative is bridging this gap by providing a comprehensive package of solar equipment including high-powered solar panels, solar batteries, in-home remote monitoring systems, highly efficient LED light bulbs and optional DC appliances.
Through this inclusive initiative, the company aims to install 200,000 solar systems in Kenya by 2020, integrating trusted local partners into its supply chain. Its solar equipment is provided to customers through a three-year loan, with flexible payment plans utilizing mobile phone networks. The products are accompanied by a three-year warranty, free installation and maintenance, and a toll-free service hotline.
Mobisol’s value chain comprises a local sales force and technicians trained at the Mobisol Akademie, its in-house education institute. The company has also partnered with a local university to optimize its training content while sharing its knowledge of renewable energy with Kenyan students. Its local sales and distribution network is eliminating social barriers to product adoption and raising awareness about solar technology in remote rural areas.
One of the most remarkable features of Mobisol’s inclusive model is its potential to drive the growth of micro enterprises. In addition to home lighting and mobile-phone charging, Mobisol’s solar solutions are being utilized to power shops, village cinemas and other small businesses. According to one study of Mobisol’s business customers in Rwanda by the mobile-provider group GSMA, access to power is raising these entrepreneurs’ incomes by an average of US$35 per month.
Having electrified over 60,000 households and small businesses in East Africa since 2013, Mobisol is responding to the huge demand for scalable off-grid energy solutions in Kenya. As a result, the company is expanding its value chain by partnering with local solar equipment producer Chloride Exide Kenya Ltd. that has knowledge of the local market. Through its local partnership and training, Mobisol is developing the local workforce while lighting the way for better living in Kenya.