August 3 (SeeNews) - The French Development Agency (Agence Francaise de Developpement, AFD) is providing EUR 33 million (USD 36.3m) of financing to help mini-grids in Kenya switch to renewables.
The financing deal was signed on August 1 as part of the visit of French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to Kenya.
The funds will support the installation of renewable energy units in 23 mini-grids that are currently powered by diesel generators, AFD said in a statement. The project, to be implemented by state-controlled Kenya Power, is expected to see the installation of some 9.6 MW of photovoltaic (PV) and 600 kW of wind capacity. It will result in multiple benefits, including reducing the average cost of electricity production of mini-grids by an average of 20% and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also contribute to improving energy security in Kenya and to a more reliable electricity service.
AFD is one of the biggest financiers of Kenya's power sector. Since the start of its activity in the country in 2000, it has committed over EUR 800 million of loans to the sector, with support going to areas such as drilling for geothermal development, renewable energy plants and electrification in rural and urban areas.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.100)