‘Made in Kenya’ Success in Solar
• 1.85MW of off-grid power from Kenya-made panels
• M-KOPA planning to source all PV panels in Kenya
• Building Kenya as innovation hub for solar
16th January 2018, Nairobi… M-KOPA is today announcing that it has sold over 100,000 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that were made in Kenya by Solinc. It is also announcing that future panel sourcing is to be done locally, subject to market and regulatory conditions.
M-KOPA has been sourcing its 20W and 15W panels at the Solinc factory in Naivasha for the last two years. The panels are used in M-KOPA’s larger home systems, which include TV, lights, radio and phone charging.
M-KOPA has now installed over 100,000 of these locally manufactured panels, powering the company’s TV solar home systems. They are generating a total of 1.85MW of off-grid power direct from rooftops across East Africa. With M-KOPA households having an average of five inhabitants, they have brought 500,000 new TV viewers into the information economy.
M-KOPA previously imported its smaller 8W panels from overseas. M-KOPA will now be looking to source all its PV panels in Kenya. The company will be looking to locally source a further half a million PV panels, generating 6.6MW of power, over the next two years.
Mugo Kibati, Chairman, M-KOPA says, “Kenya has emerged as a hub for solar innovation. The government has created an enabling environment for the solar sector and now we’re seeing the impact and benefits flowing into the wider economy.”
In 2011 Solinc set up the first solar PV module factory in East and Central Africa, located in Naivasha. It provides contract manufacturing to a range of local solar companies.
Haijo Kuper, Founder and Managing Director, Solinc East Africa says, “We’re delighted that we have been able to provide M-KOPA with security of supply at an affordable price point. In line with global trends, we’re confident that we can continue to bring the cost of PV down and maintain quality.”
Solinc employs 130 Kenyans in its Naivasha factory and if it secures the increased volumes from M-KOPA, it would employ 30 more engineering staff over the next 2 years.
Alex MacGillivray, CDC’s Director of Development Impact says, “As an investor in M-KOPA, we are pleased that the company is growing a local manufacturing base and supporting the creation of green jobs in Kenya. Continued industry and government support is vital for Kenya PV manufacturing – and solar technology as a whole – to remain affordable for businesses and consumers.”
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Notes to Editors:
M-KOPA is the world’s leading ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy provider to off-grid homes. The company has developed a better way to provide affordable, safe and clean energy to millions of people living off the grid. Thanks to the sun’s rays and mobile technology, customers can light up their homes, charge their phones and tune into the radio and TV. They can do all this at the flick of a switch and for less than they used to spend on kerosene. For more information visit: www.m-kopa.com.
SOLINC is the first and only solar electricity products manufacturer in East Africa. It has established this technology transfer through being a lighthouse production site being ISO Quality (9001) and Environment (14001) certified. Solinc is brand leader in solar panel distribution in Kenya. The company employs over 150 people, providing mainly young people a first chance on the labour market. For more information: www.solinc.co.ke
CDC Group plc is the UK’s development finance institution. Wholly owned by the UK Government, it invests in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with the aim of supporting economic development to create jobs. CDC Group plc has invested in Africa since its establishment in 1948.
CDC takes a flexible approach and provides capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses’ needs and achieve development impact. CDC has total assets of £4.8bn. Find out more at www.cdcgroup.com.