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Renewable Energy Business Information Centers

Background

Energy supply is a basic requirement for sustainable development yet most of the rural populations in Kenya have no access to grid electricity (estimated at 63% by Kenyan Government rural electrification agency). Most of these areas are sparsely populated making it extremely uneconomical for the expansion of electricity grid energy thus decentralized (off-grid) technologies most suitable.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Government of Kenya have identified the need to harness and enhance the use of these off-the-grid renewable energy technologies to produce power for use in domestic lighting and productive income generating applications.

Community Power Centres (CPC)

A Community Power Centre (CPC) or “Energy Kiosk” is a common utility (community-managed), decentralized electrical energy service centre powered by renewable energy technologies.

The CPC can utilize a single source of Renewable Energy (RE) system (Stand-alone) or a combination of sources (Hybrid) to produce electricity from locally available RE resources like water, organic wastes, plant oil, solar and wind etc. This electricity is then used in productive activities that Add Value to the community’s lives, produce and economic activities.

Business Model for CPCs

The community power center is designed to be a financially sustainable enterprise. Based on a business plan, the CPC is designed to generate enough income to cater for its costs and make a profit. This is the only way the CPC model can be viable and replicable throughout the country and beyond.

The CPC earns its money from the Energy services or energy sales it makes or supports. These include productive activities like the ones run at the Industrial Center, and the other services like ICT, community recreation, Recharging of LED lamps and phones etc.

Pilot CPCs

Currently UNIDO Kenya has implemented a number of pilot CPCs in various parts of the country. These include:

CPC Location Renewable Energy Source UsedApplications
Kibae CPC, Kirinyaga, Central Kenya2KW Micro-hydro, 500W SolarLamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications, Community Center.
Kamahuha CPC, Muranga, Central Kenya8KW BiogasLamp recharge, ICT, Small
Mbuuni CPC, Machakos, Eastern Kenya8 KW SVOLamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications
Cheptabach CPC, Kericho, Western Kenya    2KW Micro-Hydro    Lamp recharge, ICT
Uhuru CPC, Siaya, Western Kenya   2KW Solar, 8KW SVO Lamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications, Community Center
Changara CPC, Bungoma, Western Kenya      2KW Solar, 8KW SVOLamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications, Community Center
Wema CPC, Mombasa, Southern Kenya5KW Biogas    Lamp recharge, ICT
Ikinu CPC, Kiambu, Central Kenya   1KW Micro-Hydro    Lamp recharge, ICT
Makandune CPC, Meru, Central Eastern Kenya     8KW SVO Lamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications, Community Center