Electricity is one of the most important blessings that science has given to mankind. Not only is it one of the most amazing and life-changing innovations, but it’s unimaginable to think that there was a time when we lived without it.
The role of electricity in Kenya is not any different and as our lives become increasingly techno centric, unexpected and scheduled power outages cause a lot of inconveniencies and stress, more so today than ever before. Think back to that day when you woke up and you discovered there was no power, how your emotions and stress levels rose instantly as you thought of what you would do or not do because there was no electricity. With frequent power outages in Kenya, we lose access to modern conveniences like TV, Wi-Fi, and other essential equipment/ appliances such as security systems, lighting, and even refrigerators. In addition, power outages can lead to unsafe home and business environments, and hence cost thousands of shillings in damaged inventory and business losses.
In a world increasingly dependent on power, technology and data, it is critical to have a reliable and sustainable electricity supply. Power backups in Kenya are therefore a necessity and renewable energy in Kenya is an option that can be considered as backup or as the main power solution. With the solar panels prices in Kenya coming down, Solar energy in Kenya is becoming a lot more affordable. Some of the solutions that can be considered include;
Inverter based power backup system:- when power blackouts occurs, an inverter power backup system supplies electricity to selected/ critical/ priority loads or to the entire house. The system has batteried which store the power. This system can provide power a few minutes to many hours and even days depending on the system size and loads being powered.
Solar powered /hybrid system: - If the power backup system has a solar option incorporated, it means the batteries can also be charged by the sun through rooftop or ground mounted solar panels in addition to the grid hence adding an extra layer of security, stability and availability.
- Solar powered outdoor /security/street lights: - It’s also possible to have standalone outdoor security lights which are solar powered. Lighting is integral to crime prevention. Security lighting helps to deter or detect intrusions or other criminal activities on a piece of property or area. It also increases a feeling of safety.
- Generator- Installing a generator means there will be fuel costs to keep it running and these costs can be significant if one frequently relies on the generator; it is possible to have a solar powered generator which does not use fuel.
A solar based solution approach may have a higher initial investment cost but it has many long term benefits. Solar powered solutions are sustainable and environmentally friendly; reduce power costs or eliminate them completely; lower maintenance costs; improve property value and provide electricity to off-grid areas given that Kenya and Africa as a whole have very good sun all year round.
To explore these options and others, please contact our Aspectus Limited team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Engineer Sarah Mbwaya is the Founder and Managing Director of Aspectus limited. Aspectus Limited provides solar power solutions to corporates, individuals and communities for their ever dynamic energy needs. She is also the country chair of African women in Energy and Power (AWEaP), an initiative in 22 African countries with programs designed to accelerate African women entrepreneurs' participation in the Power and Energy sector.