Three years ago, Caroline Waithira set up a dairy farm in central Kenya, actualizing a dream that she had harbored for years.
To ensure that activities on the farm run smoothly, she drilled two boreholes that would provide her with water. However, when Waithira applied for electricity connection, she was handed a bill of 1 million shillings (about 9,273 U.S. dollars) by national public liability firm Kenya Power. “I could not raise the money, but this opened my eyes to seek for an alternative power source,” she recounted recently.
Waithira told Xinhua that she opted to install solar power on her farm, which she now uses to pump water, and light the establishment and the workers’ houses.
“I spent 1,390 dollars on the whole system and since then, I have never paid power bills,” said Waithira, adding solar is the way to go.Her experience is shared by an increasing number of Kenyans who are embracing solar power.
From lighting homes, shops, security lights to boiling and pumping water, solar power is getting entrenched in Kenyan homes and institutions.
Ngugi Njuguna with Sydenham Power noted that uptake of solar power in the east African nation is on the rise as prices of the gadgets, mainly imported from China, decline.
“Uptake of solar has been on the rise since 2018,” he said, adding about 35,000 people and institutions are taking the solar power each year in Kenya.
“Increased demand for solar power in Kenya coupled with rise in manufacturing is driving down prices,” he said. He classifies solar power use in Kenya into three main segments, namely domestic, institutional and commercial.
Small traders in Kenya are among the biggest users of solar lights. Alongside roads in residential areas in urban areas, it is now common for vegetable sellers and hawkers to use solar lights at night to light their stalls.
Njuguna observed that institutions like schools and hospitals have equally embraced solar energy, using them to power telecommunications gadgets and street-lighting.
Solar energy is also helping industries cut costs, he said.In the east African nation, according to government data, the uptake of solar power use is more in rural areas as people look for ways to power their homes. People in peri-urban areas are also taking solar power.