A Danish solar power firm has acquired an office space in Nairobi that will tap a dozen Kenyans to drive its operations from next month, expanding the list of multinationals that have plugged into the local market.
M-PAYG, which already has a footprint in neighbouring Tanzania, said it was eyeing opportunities presented by Kenya’s plan of connecting all homes to electricity in the next three years.
The firm will supply pay-as-you-go solar kits where clients pay for use of the kits until the full cost of the equipment is recovered and its ownership transferred to the user.
“We are very interested in the Kenyan market, partly because of the government’s 100 per cent electrification target by 2020 with off-grid solar energy solutions being a big part of the picture,” the company founder Asger Trier told the Business Daily in an interview.
The government has set a universal electricity access target of 2020, to be achieved through a combination of increased connectivity of homes to the national grid and off-grid solar power solutions for remote villages, largely by private investors.
Solar equipment is exempt from tax as part of government’s incentive to spur the sector, seen to provide the country with the shortest route towards 100 per cent electrification rate.
About a third of the population is cut off the main power grid in a country where electricity connections are done by a single distributor, government-owned Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC, making the process slow and expensive.
The Danish firm now joins a growing list of multinationals that have made Nairobi their regional hubs for solar power including those from the US, the UK, Germany and France.
M-PAYG sources its solar panels and backup batteries from China.