Two Finnish firms Wärtsilä and Solar Fire Concentration have launched GoSol.org, a new off grid energy technology that aims at breaking the cost-barriers currently limiting the deployment of solar thermal technologies in local entrepreneurial applications in East Africa.
GoSol.org promises to not only provide clean energy but also help local entrepreneurs save money, increase local wealth, create job opportunities, reinvest in their communities, protect the environment, eradicate poverty and improve their health leading to their overall empowerment.
According to Mr. George Oywer, Energy Solutions, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä, “With the GoSol project, we have an opportunity to help African micro entrepreneurs especially in the rural areas, who are the basis for a good society. The use of solar power in the project is aligned to our corporate vision of providing access to clean energy hence our decision to sponsor the GoSol project”.
GoSol will be operating in Kisumu and Turkana area and is partnering with the NGO World Vision through their Weconomy program.
Kenya’s demand for power is currently at 2200 MW while installed capacity is 2400 MW expected to rise approximately to 7500 MW by 2030, and while the government is making commendable efforts to meet the future demand, there is a need to provide such off grid solutions that can impact livelihoods and help alleviate poverty in rural areas.
Eva Wissenz, Managing Director, GoSol project said, “The electrification ratio in Kenya is low: national electricity access is at 32%, rural electrification access is at 19%. This means that there are a lot of households and small entrepreneurs especially in rural areas that are still dependent on biomass to fulfill their energy needs.”
The SOL models capture direct solar energy and make it usable at low cost over a large temperature range. The models can generate energy up to 6KW and its applications can vary from roasting 20kg of peanuts in 3.5hrs or roasts 15kg of cocoa beans in 2 hours or bake 100 scones in 35 minutes or bake 30 200g loaves of bread in 40 minutes.