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Solar firm raises Sh1bn to finance expansion

Kenya has high potential for solar energy generation given high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year. file photo | nmg
Kenya has high potential for solar energy generation given high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year. file photo | nmg 

A Kenya-based US solar kits firm has raised $10.5 million (Sh1.05 billion) through crowd funding to power local expansion.

Angaza Design, a San Francisco based alternative energy startup that offers technology to manufacturing and distribution companies to make clean energy devices for off-grid consumers, said the new debt finance will also power its regional expansion.

The Kenyan solar kits market has attracted multinationals like Indian firm Orb Energy and Germany-based Mobisol as well as local company M-Kopa.

Solar experts reckon that Kenya, like most African countries, has high potential for solar energy generation given high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year.

The intensity of sunlight, not heat levels, determines solar electricity production. Kenya’s total installed power capacity is 2,370 megawatts, with solar power accounting for less than one per cent.

This has presented a huge market for independent investors to supply kits to off-grid customers.

About half of the country’s homes are not connected to the national electricity grid due to cost barriers, a challenge investors seek to tackle with flexible financing.

Angaza said it removes the upfront price barrier of solar products by enabling off-grid customers to prepay in “affordable amounts.”

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