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Optimizing Solar for Social Economic Development in Kenya’s Counties

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Over the last eight years, Kenya witnessed rapid growth in electrification. The access rate more than doubled, from 36% in 2014 to 75% in 20181. Rural electrification increased from 25% in 2014 to 50% in 2018. Progress in rural electrification has been achieved through government programmes like Last Mile Connectivity, support from development partners and stand-alone solar. The adoption of stand-alone solar products was particularly impressive, making Kenya a market leader2. The number of solar units sold in the country increased from 413, 544 units in January to June 2017, to 974,973 over the same period in 20193. To date over 4.3 million solar units have been sold in the country. Solar home systems constitute 18% of these sales, while pico-solar products take up 82%. Up to 99% of Kenya’s existing off-grid electrification is through stand-alone solar4.

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