Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy is setting good examples for smaller economies in the region. The country is at the forefront of renewable energy in East Africa exploiting all available sources from wind to water (hydropower), nuclear to geothermal and also the large round red ball. Kenyans, are the world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita. More Kenyans are turning to solar power every year despite the government’s ambitious plan to increase power output. This is because the cost of connecting to the national grid discourages poor Kenyans who have a cheaper alternative in solar energy.
Thus, solar panels are becoming very common in Kenya nowadays. Everywhere you go, you see solar panels, even at carports.
The uppermost storey of a car park at Garden City Mall, part of the new 32-acre integrated residential, retail park, hotel and office development on Nairobi’s Thika Superhighway is fitted with a solar carport, which has been described as Africa’s largest. Solarcentury and Solar Africa renewable energy organisations that collaborated in the construction of the installation said it will cut carbon emissions from power generation through non-renewable energy by 745 tonnes annually.
A total of 3,300 solar panels capable of generating 1256 MWh annually were used.
“We are incredibly proud to be bringing our second dual-mode solar system to Kenya, this time to build East Africa’s largest rooftop system,” Dr Dan Davies, the Director for Solarcentury in East Africa said in 2014 during the commissioning of the project.
Situated on the topmost floor of the Garden City Mall along the Thika Superhighway, the carport will not only shade cars, it will also provide solar energy to reduce consumption from the power grid.
Way to go, Kenya!