While in Kenya, I met one family that had built their own home and fitted it with solar panels. They had virtually no heating and lighting costs but their intial outlay that involved buying fitting in the solar panels was quite expensive. My question is whether a time will come when these costs are not so prohibitive.
Yes, the time is drawing near i think. January this year, i visited a farm in Eldoret where they used solar for heating water, using an installation of ‘suntanks’ which is a south African company. I asked the approximate cost of the installation, and he indicated that it cost him Ksh 120,000. He did indicate that there is a german company that can set up a similar installation for 1/2 the cost. (sorry i dont have the company name right now, but will update you once i get the info)
A better gauge of the cost of solar energy is by calculating the kw/hr or cost per Watt; and see how it has changed over the past couple of years. I am still looking for this info…
makau wa mulei said,
The cost hasnâ??t changed much, a 200ltr water heating system goes for Ksh. 120,000 wheras a 300ltr system goes for Ksh. 150,000 and are not tax exempt.
A 80 watts monocrystaline solar panel for electric generation goes for Ksh. 39,000, 600 watts MOSFET inverter Ksh. 15,000, 100Ah lead acid battery for Ksh. 16,000 and a 10Amp charge controller for Ksh. 4,000 giving a total of Ksh. 74,000 + 16% VAT. This is way beyond reach for most Kenyans. In my rural town, most teachers who have access to Sacco loans have invested in solar panels. for majority of the population that cannot afford this amount, they have to do whithout electric power.
I think the first step the Govt needs to do is zero rate solar equipment and waive import duty, this can substancially lower the cost.