This project is active
The number of affordable and quality solar lighting systems available at a national level has continued to increase in recent years, with technology advancement and product improvements reported every year.
Despite a similar growth in market demand, penetration of these systems at a rural level remains low due to the complexity of rural distribution channels and the high logistical costs. Most solar companies or their national distributors therefore require support to develop the required last mile distribution networks, creating an opportunity for development partners.
From July 2012, SNV with the support of EnDev (Energising Development Kenya Country programme) has been implementing a Pico Pv project targeting off grid communities in selected counties of Kenya. The project is facilitating access to clean lighting products and services for households at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) by establishing and strengthening sustainable and commercially viable supply and distribution models for quality, affordable and efficient plug-and-play solar lanterns and solar home systems at a rural level. The project promotes Lighting Global approved solar lanterns and solar home systems.
The main interventions include consumer awareness creation, capacity development for rural entrepreneurs, business linkages between value chain actors at different levels and facilitating innovative finance models to enhance credit for both entrepreneurs and end users. Despite the increased awareness of solar as an alternative source of lighting, end users continue to show little awareness of the available high quality product options, therefore creating a need for continuous awareness creation focusing on available quality products and their accessibility. Through business linkages, training and capacity building for the last mile entrepreneurs (LMEs), the project seeks to facilitate a wider variety (options) of quality solar products in entrepreneur stocks, while also expanding or opening new markets for the solar companies. Through support for sustainable innovative financing models such as the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology enabled products, rural group lending models and leveraging on EnDev’s Result Based Financing (RBF) project for solar products, the project, in addition, seeks to address the growing demand for affordable finance occasioned by the growing demand for quality solar systems.
These small sized solar systems represent a least-cost option for electrifying homes in many rural areas, especially the off-grid consumers in sparsely populated arid and semi-arid lands. Their application in mobile phone charging also makes them essential to the rural people who have limited mobile phone charging options. In the current upscaling phase (2017-2018), the project seeks to enable access through sale of 45,000 assorted Pico PV products reaching more than 75,000 new people with clean lighting. The project also intends to create at least 200 jobs along the value chain over the same period.