Rural electrification authority sets aside Ksh2.5b for solar power

By Kennedy Rioba

The rural electrification authority has put aside 2.5 billion shillings that will be used to set up solar power and diesel generator energy to help light up remote off grid areas.

According to the authority’s chairman Simon Gicharu construction of the 55 MW solar power plant in Garissa County at a cost of 12.8 billion shillings is set to start soon with all the bottlenecks now addressed and will be ready for commissioning in a years’ time.

Even as the government added 1.3 million households to the national  electricity grid last year, raising the percentage of  connections to 55% up from 27% in 2013 still a good number of Kenyans are yet to be connected to the national grid  especially those in remote areas.

The rural electrification authority which was allocated 7 billion shillings in the 2017/2018 financial year plans to spend the bulk of the budget in scaling-up the supply of renewable energy in rural areas.

Kenya plans to achieve universal access to power where 95% of homes will have access to electricity by the year 2020.