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.
Currently UNIDO Kenya has implemented a number of pilot CPCs in various parts of the country. These include:
|CPC Location||Renewable Energy Source Used||Applications
|Kibae CPC, Kirinyaga, Central Kenya||2KW Micro-hydro, 500W Solar||Lamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications, Community Center.|
|Kamahuha CPC, Muranga, Central Kenya||8KW Biogas||Lamp recharge, ICT, Small|
|Mbuuni CPC, Machakos, Eastern Kenya||8 KW SVO||Lamp 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 SVO||Lamp recharge, ICT, Small Industrial applications, Community Center|
|Wema CPC, Mombasa, Southern Kenya||5KW||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|