China’s Export-Import Bank has announced financial assistance for the development of a solar power plant in Kenya.
A 50 MW solar PV power plant planned for execution in the Kenyan city of Garissa will receive debt financing from China’s Export-Import Bank, a project which is expected to be one of the largest solar power plants in Africa. China’s Export-Import bank will offer debt financing to the project developers at a concession rate as part of China’s $5 billion investment in Kenya. The project remains in the planning stage for the moment, but construction is expected to be initiated soon.
Kenya has a huge potential for power generation from solar energy resources. The government, of the last few years, has started taking initiatives to significantly boost solar power generation in the country, focusing on distributed as well as utility-scale solar power projects. In January last year, the Kenyan government announced that it will invest $1.2 billion, in partnership with private sector companies, to set up large-scale solar power projects, with the intention of generating half of the country’s electricity from solar power projects by 2016.
Kenya is heavily dependent on large hydro power plants for power generation. However, the power generation from these plant is, in turn, dependent on the rainfall and water level in the reservoirs. Thus, power availability is not very reliable or consistent. The government hopes to solve this problem by setting up large-scale solar power projects across the country. The government also hopes that the cost of power generation and, subsequently, the price of electricity would also come down significantly once large-scale solar power projects are implemented.
Image: Kenya hand flag via Shutterstock
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