German Solar Companies Hunt For Kenya Investment Deals

A group of seven German solar technology firms is in the country to scout for investment opportunities.

Solar panels

Solar panels

These investors, who will also tour Tanzania in their one-week stay, have already held talks with potential manufacturers, helping them assess their energy needs while proposing solar as an alternative source of power.

The German investors are targeting commercial solar uptake opportunities in the flower, tea, cement and food processing industries.

Already the delegation has held talks with edible oils manufacturer Bidco, whose managing director Vimal Shah confirmed having met.

Mr Shah said his company has however not yet signed a firm deal with the Germans.

“We still have to look at the cost versus benefit,” he said in an interview.

According to Georgia Badelt, head of energy desk at Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya, installation of one megawatt of solar power system costs at least Sh176 million (1.5 million euros).

The Thika-based Bidco has been looking into the option of installing solar panels on the roof of its premises to save on energy costs.

The German investors will in the next one week support local manufacturers in assessing their energy situation, needs and consumption. Later, the companies will be given quotations on the cost of the solar systems.

According to Ms Badelt, Germany is interested in Kenya, which is seen as a high potential solar technology growth market.

Solar energy in Kenya has been part of rural electrification and institution lighting programmes, especially in schools and hospitals.

Most of these initiatives have been driven by donors and NGOs. However, this trend is shifting as businesses adopt solar in commercial operations.

“The energy cost in Kenya has been increasing over time whereas the cost of solar has gone done in the past one year. Kenya also experiences erratic power supply forcing manufacturers to use diesel which fluctuates as per international crude prices,” Ms Badelt told the Business Daily.

The seven investors are all new in the African market. They include OneShore GmbH, Soleos Solar GmbH, Cronimet Power Solutions, Autarsys GmbH, Sunset Energietechnik GmbH, Autarsys GmbH and b+w.

The global solar power market is estimated to be worth $100 billion. And the Kenyan Market, Ms Badelt says is worth millions of dollars.

– Business Daily