Community Based Solar PV Distribution Model in Eastern Kenya: Success Factors and Challenges

Community Based Solar PV Distribution Model in Eastern Kenya: Success Factors and Challenges

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Author(s): Benard O. Muok

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DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.1826 56 245 19-29 Volume 7 - Nov 2018


Access to clean ad reliable energy remains a fundamental bottleneck to the achievement of sustainable development goals in sub-Sahara Africa. In the past few years, solar energy has emerged as one of the most viable options to enhance energy access, especially in the rural areas where grid extension may not be economically feasible. This realisation has seen many governments and development partners focusing attention of promotion of solar energy. Kenya is recorded as country with one of the fasted growing solar market among the developing countries. Despite this achievement, there are a number of challenges facing solar market in Kenya. One of such challenges include identification appropriate distribution/business model. Different development agents employ different distribution models. One such model is the central charging centres. These centres operate on a rental system where portable solar lanterns are rented to household at a fee and the households have to drop and pick the lanterns either on daily basis or whenever the battery is discharged. Such centres was established at Ikisaya market in Kitui County by University of Oslo in collaboration with the Energy Resource Institute (TERI), African Centre for Technology Studies and other local partners. There years after the establishment, a study was carried out to determine the level of adoption of solar technology and identify the success factors and challenges. The study revealed that the centre has played a big role in introducing solar technology to a community who has predominantly been using kerosene candles. The main success factors were identified as the cost of technology, which was perceived to be lower than the alternative, ease of operation and ease of access of the technology. On the flip side governance issues remain a challenge to long tern sustainability.


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International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Author(s) retain the copyrights of this article, though, publication rights are with Alkhaer Publications.

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