Solarcentury has joined forces with local Kenyan company East African Solar to establish Solarcentury in East Africa. Since 2013, the company has been active in East Africa from its Nairobi office, headed up by Dr Dan Davies, a founder of Solarcentury. Solarcentury is ready to meet growing demand from East African businesses looking to reduce their reliance on costly diesel power and reliance on the grid.
Solarcentury has 15 years’ experience installing solar throughout Europe, and more recently in South Africa and Latin America. The new company combines Solarcentury’s British engineering excellence and experience of delivering, operating and maintaining solar installations with local industry experience and insight provided by solar industry expert Guy Lawrence, former CEO of East African Solar. Lawrence was responsible for delivering Kenya’s first commercial solar system and is a regular industry commentator on solar, with international energy sector experience. A local team of seven will work alongside Davies and Lawrence to deliver solar projects throughout East Africa.
Dr Dan Davies, Director of Solarcentury in East Africa comments, “Since opening the office in Nairobi almost 18 months ago, we have made significant inroads into the solar market in Kenya, with two sizeable projects under our belts. Now, working with Guy Lawrence, we have an even stronger solar offering that we believe will appeal to many businesses in East Africa. Government support for renewables in this region is growing – it’s encouraging that in Kenya, for example, the Government’s Kenya Vision 2030 recognizes the opportunity for renewable energy to support economic growth and the need for the country to switch to more sustainable energy sources.”
Solarcentury’s Nairobi office represents the company’s long-term investment in Kenya and the wider region, supported by the understanding that the falling cost of solar makes it an ever more attractive investment. The International Energy Agency recently reported that solar energy could be the top source of electricity by 2050, generating up to 16 percent of the world's electricity. Solar PV has been the fastest growing renewable energy technology in the world since 2000.
Guy Lawrence, Director of Business Development at Solarcentury in East Africa comments, “Joining Solarcentury creates a highly competitive offering which is already proving appealing to businesses serious about cutting their energy bills and carbon emissions by reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. Solar is especially beneficial for high energy users such as those in the tea, flower, horticulture and manufacturing sectors where high energy costs can reduce their global competitiveness.”
Last year, Solarcentury completed a 1MWp solar farm for Williamson Tea, a respected tea grower with a long heritage in Kenya. Solarcentury is also building the largest solar car port in East Africa for Garden City, a new retail complex in Nairobi. Looking ahead to 2015, Solarcentury is looking to develop local supply partners to stimulate employment in Kenya. Solarcentury has helped to develop a DFID funded- initiative to promote skills training in Kenya and will continue to contribute to the evolution of the solar industry in Kenya.