Kenya has a population of approximately 45 million people. Some 40 percent of this population has no or limited access to power. Those people are mostly concentrated in the northern and north eastern parts of the country. Access to electricity service in Kenya has increased rapidly from 23 percent in 2009 and estimated 50 percent in 2016. Despite significant achievements in the last five years, the interconnected electricity system covers only the coastal, central, eastern and western parts of the country. As such, remote rural areas of the country have no grid coverage, for instance in most of the northern and north eastern regions, and electricity access in these regions is less than 5 percent.
While the Kenyan Government has launched a program to connect a majority of the population to the national grid, entire areas, mainly rural areas, will not have access to this source of electricity in the short term. Kenya’s extremely dynamic private sector has managed to provide an initial response via individual solar kits. Mini-grids need to be covered in order to achieve an additional level of access to electricity and service quality.
Private investments in mini-grids have been initiated in Kenya. However, they face numerous challenges which need to be addressed. The Green Mini Grid Facility Kenya aims to assist mini-grid entities in addressing these challenges.
The Green Mini Grid Facility Kenya will enhance access to energy in Kenya by encouraging private investment in renewable energy based mini-grids. Supported by the United Kingdom, the Green Mini Grid Kenya Facility will provide funding for investment grants, and technical assistance to both the grantees and the mini-grid sector as a whole to help develop the market place for mini-grids in Kenya. Ultimately, the Green Mini Grid Kenya Facility will provide assistance to the private sector in a responsible manner so as to develop sustainable and scalable businesses providing energy access to all Kenyans. Through the technical assistance and responsible grant disbursement, the Green Mini Grid Kenya Facility will finally prepare businesses for longer term financing linking them with other investment opportunities and financing sources.