Competition Heats Up in Kenya’s Off-Grid, Mobile Pay-Go Solar Market
Home to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Kenya is a hive of activity and a magnet for sustainable development-minded off-grid solar and energy storage startups. Having raised $40 million of capital over the course of the last four months of 2016, d.light announced that an average 800 Kenyan households a day are signing up for its D30 Pay-Go solar home system.
Ramping up consumer financing options is key to rapid uptake of D30 Pay-Go solar, which is available in 1,500 outlets, about 10 percent of d.light’s total distribution network. That leaves a lot of room for growth, management highlights in a press release.
D.light isn’t the only mobile “pay as you go” off-grid solar home vendor vying for leadership position in the fledgling market, though D30 sales make it the fastest growing. Germany’s Mobisol on March 17 announced it was opening 20 new retail solar outlets in Kenya.
Both d.light and Mobisol offer a mix of off-grid, mobile “pay as you go” home solar products and services packages. In addition to basic home solar starter kits that come with solar panels, a battery pack and smart meter, they encompass everything from solar flashlights lanterns, lamps with built-in mobile device chargers and LED lighting to small DC home appliances, such as fans, radios, TVs and even refrigerators.