Critical Power plans to invest more than Sh100 million to provide power backup solutions and renewable energy to businesses in East Africa in a move to exploit the growing need for power protection solutions occasioned by frequent power outages by providing power generators, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and power inverter systems.
Critical Power will also offer alternative power such as solar, biomass and small hydro stations to businesses and homes.
“There is a growing demand for solar and biomass energy as an alternative source of energy. The prices have since reduced and therefore solar is now affordable and a lot of offices and homes have switched to using solar as their main source of energy,” said Mr James Mwangi, Chief Executive Officer, Critical Power East Africa Limited.
He also said the company is focusing on the regional market with plans to offer power management, protection and back-up solutions in Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan in the next two years.
Kenya and other East African economies face frequent power outages due to supply shortfalls and aging grid networks. This offers investors an opportunity to offer power back up solutions.
Critical Power said it will introduce new technologies such as integrating different sources of power through an intelligent control units which results in huge savings on energy costs.
The system allows seamless integration of solar, diesel generators and biomass to allow switching from one form of energy source to the other in the event of a blackout or to cut electricity bills.
Most parts of Kenya experience sunshine throughout the year, making the country ideal for solar panels to power homes and offices. Critical Power will also use agricultural waste such as cow dung to generate biogas and electricity.
“Biogas is very popular in the upcountry especially with large scale farmers and institutions.”
The government has zero-rated import duty and removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on renewable energy, equipment and accessories.
Mwangi lauded the move saying it will make easy for majority of Kenyans to access solar energy as the cost of buying and installation is expected to come down by at least 30 percent.
The Energy Regulatory Commission has introduced Solar Water Heating Regulations which makes it necessary to install solar power at hotels and large water users, with a view to mitigate the challenges faced in exploiting the solar energy resource. This is also in line with grid energy saving which can be diverted for industrial use in line with Vision 2030.