AFFORDABILITY: Amb. Frash listens while Gov. Githinji and Gottschalk comment on the Kiambu 120w system recently.
German solar firm launches in Kenya
NAIROBI, KENYA – A German solar company, Mobisol, has made a foray into the Kenyan market to tap into the huge potential for electricity as demand for off-grid power solutions in East Africa continues on steep rise.
“We are going to partner with telecommunication companies to ensure all Mobisol solar systems can be purchased through convenient payment plans via leading mobile money providers,” Mobisol Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Gottschalk said recently.
The Mobisol business plan is tuned towards making it easier for low-income Kenyans to purchase a high quality solar system at a very affordable and competitive price.
Gottschalk said: “Looking at the fact that our systems are 10 times bigger than those of similar providers on the market, ours is much more powerful and affordable.”
Gottschalk was speaking duting the launch of the firm’s first installation in Kenya. This is a 120 watt system for residents in Kiambu County, about 30 kilometres north east of Nairobi. This was the 200,000th installation since the company entered East Africa.
In attendance were Kiambu Deputy Governor Gerald Gakuha Githinji, and the German Ambassador to Kenya Jutta Frasch.
“The initiative will supplement government’s efforts of connecting electricity to rural areas across the country. The initiative will provide business opportunities to low income population,” Ambassador Frasch said.
The Kenyan launch follows successful operations in Tanzania and Rwanda, where the company has installed over 40,000 solar systems thus providing more than 4 MW of decentralized solar electricity to rural areas.
The company combines solar energy with innovative mobile technology and mobile payment to provide high tech solar home systems which include, radios, mobile phone charging systems, LED TV and fridges.
Mobisol Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Gottschalk said the company had realized a significant gap in the number of Kenyans connected to the national grid, especially in rural areas.
Mobisol’s pay- as you- go system, circumvents the initial investment hurdle for customers who previously could not afford solar home systems. Payment plans would include 36- month microfinance plan using mobile banking methods.