Mobisol, a provider of smart solar home solutions, celebrated reaching out to 200,000 beneficiaries in East Africa and their upcoming Kenyan market entry with a pilot installation ceremony in Kiambu County.
In the attendance during the event was Kiambu Deputy Governor Gerald Gakuha Githinji, Karachuonyo MP, Eng James Rege and under the patronage of the German Ambassador Jutta Frasch. The event was formally opened by Director for Renewable Energy at Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Eng Isaac Kiva, who underlined Mobisol’s credo that “access to reliable electricity does not only mean three lights, but enjoying the benefits of the modern world”.
(TOP: L-to-R: Hon. Gerald Githinji, Deputy Governor, Kiambu County; Thomas Gottschalk, CEO, MOBISOL; Jutta Frasch, German Ambassador to Kenya; Eng Isaac Kiva, Director, Renewable Energy, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and Hon Eng James Rege, MP, Karachuonyo).
During the ceremony honouring Mobisol’s achievements to date, the company installed a 120Watt solar system at the premises of its 200,000th beneficiary – John Kimani Wanjiru – showcasing an example of Mobisol’s high quality products that will be available in Kenya later this year.
Mobisol’s CEO Thomas Gottschalk said: “Mobisol’s system sizes are by far the only credible substitute to grid electrification. We believe that ‘big is beautiful’ – our systems are designed to power entire households and even businesses with a variety of highly efficient DC appliances. Many of our customers in Tanzania and Rwanda not only run 32 inch flat screen TVs with their system, but also power haircutters and hair-straighteners simultaneously, while entertaining their barbershop customers with music stereos.”
Gottschalk mentioned that the company had realized a significant gap in the number of Kenyans connected to the national grid, especially in rural areas: “More than 70 per cent of Kenya’s population does not have access to electricity. While solar solutions are increasingly gaining in popularity for low-income individuals, the local market does not really carry large solar solutions, strong enough to power large TVs, music stereo systems, or even fridges.” Gottschalk further outlined Mobisol’s market entry strategy and unique selling proposition (USP): “Looking at the fact that our systems are ten times bigger than those of similar providers on the market, much more powerful, but just as affordable, encourages us to provide our solutions also to Kenyans.”
He added that the Mobisol solar solutions would be commercially available in Kenya in July, making Kenya as the third country the firm has ventured into after Tanzania and Rwanda.
Customer Mr Wanjiru highly appreciates his system already: “I applied for a grid connection a long time ago. Within just one hour, Mobisol brought not only electricity to our house, but also a new lifestyle. Now, me and my family can watch our favourite shows and news on our big flat screen TV, have multiple lights running during the night and even make money by selling excess electricity.”
Mr Wanjiru expects his additional income will allow him to buy more solar appliances from Mobisol. From haircutters, straighteners and music stereo systems, to super efficient flat screen TVs (ranging from 19” to 32”) and DC powered cooking stoves – the German company has a wide offer of in-house tested appliances within their product portfolio that compliment their systems, available in three different sizes: 80W, 120W and 200W.
Mobisol continues its success story from Tanzania and Rwanda, where the company already has installed over 40,000 solar systems, hence provided more than 4 MW of decentralized solar electricity to rural areas, leading the contribution of all East African off-grid players. Thanks to their highly advanced technology, 120,000 children can do their homework at night without inhaling the noxious fumes of kerosine lamps. Many customers even use Mobisol’s solar power commercially: This way, approximately 13,000 businesses in East Africa generate a significant additional household income of over US $5 million per year.
All Mobisol solar systems can be purchased through convenient payment plans via leading mobile money providers, allowing low-income Kenyans to purchase a high quality solar system at a very affordable and competitive price. Additionally, Mobisol customers enjoy a standard three-year warranty and a comprehensive service plan including 24/7 customer care, remote monitoring and free maintenance within 48 hours.
Mobisol is highly committed to reduce the barriers of access to clean, scalable electricity and foresees to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income Kenyans with large solar solutions within the next years, meeting the governmental efforts of rural electrification in Kenya and positively affecting the local labour market.
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