The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) and the Mott Foundation have reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to the success of the Productive Use of Solar Energy (PUSE) program. With the selection of enterprises to receive support completed, the pilot program is scheduled to commence in the following weeks.
Dr. Robert Ddamulira, Mott’s Environment Program Officer, expressed confidence during his visit to KCIC on May 29, 2023, stating that substantial preparations and preliminary efforts have been made to ensure the project’s actualisation.
“All the necessary groundwork has been laid, and we are now ready for program implementation. We are eager to witness the outcomes as this initiative plays a significant role in our broader mission to enhance global access to sustainable energy services,” said Ddamulira.
Through funding from the Mott Foundation, KCIC is spearheading the Pilot Project titled “Financing Solutions for Local Productive Use of Solar Energy by Entrepreneurs in East Africa’s Agriculture Sector.” The primary objective of the project is to improve access to Productive Use of Solar Energy (PUSE) within key agricultural value chains in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania over a two-year period.
Thus far, a total of 30 SMEs have been shortlisted and will be supported to facilitate the commercialization and scaling up of Productive Use of Solar Energy solutions within vital agricultural sectors such as dairy farming, aquaculture, and horticulture. These efforts aim to create sustainable employment opportunities, bolster community resilience to climate change, and provide various environmental and social benefits.
According to Joseph Murabula, KCIC’s Chief Executive Officer, the organization will be keen to leverage its decade-long experience in the climate space to successfully execute the program and demonstrate the revolutionary potential of solar energy as a scalable and sustainable solution for addressing the global energy crisis.
Murabula emphasized the importance of harnessing solar energy’s untapped potential to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate change, and enhance energy access in underserved communities.
“By integrating cutting-edge technology, technical support, innovative financing models, and robust partnerships, we aim to establish a paradigm shift towards renewable energy adoption. I am confident that this pilot program will not only serve as a catalyst for socio-economic development but also inspire other stakeholders to prioritize and support clean energy alternatives and initiatives,” he added.
The project will also leverage the Mott Foundation’s Distributed Renewable Energy Ecosystem Model (DREEM), which aims to create a replicable model utilizing solar power to expand access to modern electrical services, stimulate local economies, and combat climate change. This approach emphasizes overcoming barriers such as inadequate financing for climate solutions in developing countries, limited access to sustainable energy innovations, and the absence of integrated energy planning, all of which have hindered last-mile energy access.
During his visit, Dr. Ddamulira interacted with some of the entrepreneurs who will participate in the project. He also engaged with key players in Kenya’s energy sector, including the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC).
Currently, the PUSE project team is conducting a comprehensive needs assessment to determine specific requirements of the selected applicants. Following this assessment, the entrepreneurs will receive technical support, business advisory services, mentorship, and financial assistance to incentivize their growth and contribute to the Productive Use of Energy initiative.