Solar Power Has A Strong Case In Kenya Due To Its Favorable Weather And Position On The Equator – SIMON GRAAFF, Head Of Engineering, Ariya Finergy Holdings Ltd  

SIMON GRAAFF, Head Of Engineering, Ariya Finergy Holdings Limited

Can you highlight some of the unique challenges and opportunities you’ve encountered while operating in Kenya’s Solar Industry?


Kenya is ideally positioned for solar energy in many ways. Being on the equator and having favorable weather creates a massive opportunity for solar power to compete as a consistent and reliable source of power all year round, which does not suffer from the seasonality of many other areas of the world. The case for solar is thus particularly strong in this market. In rural areas where power is produced by diesel generators, there is a significant opportunity to offset carbon-intensive power sources with clean distributed generation, such as solar.

The size of the country, the variety of terrain, and numerous well-preserved natural areas create logistical hurdles for moving materials to remote locations. We have built projects in challenging locations including game parks, coastal islands, and rural farms. We have had to overcome unique issues, such as elephants blocking roads, rains making routes impassable and having to use small boats to move material across the sea.


But such challenges are all in a day’s work for the Ariya Finergy team, who bring their innovation mindset to all their projects.

How does your company engage with local communities in Kenya to ensure that the benefits of solar technology reach those who need it the most?

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With our fully-fledged Research & Development department we are designing home-grown technology solutions that localize technical knowledge and help build the support industries needed to advance cutting-edge products. We at Ariya believe Kenya has the skills and infrastructure to support high-tech engineering in the energy space and where we lead, we hope others in the region will follow our example.

Could you discuss any specific policies or government initiatives in Kenya that have either facilitated or hindered the growth of the solar industry?

Kenya has a well-regulated solar industry where the governing body, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), certifies solar companies, technicians, and projects. This ensures that the quality of technicians and projects in the market are up to the necessary standards to deliver the performance clients expect, at a high level of safety. Furthermore, encouraging signs from the Kenyan government, affirming its commitment to easier access to clean energy, became a reality when the government reinstated VAT exemptions on renewable energy products.

In your experience, what role do you see the Kenyan people playing in driving the adoption of solar technology? Are there any notable success stories or examples of community involvement?

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Millions of Kenyans remember a time when there was limited or no power access in rural areas and thus have an understanding for the impact that energy can play in empowering communities and driving industry. We see a number of young Kenyans who are highly motivated to make a difference with their strong technical skills to provide innovative power solutions and we welcome their enthusiasm on our team.

Ariya recently commissioned a 999kWp solar PV roof-mounted system at a leading textile manufacturer in Thika, Kenya. The employees of the organization were invited to take part in the commissioning celebrations which highlighted the importance of the company adopting solar PV as part of their renewable energy policies. The staff was encouraged to take the benefits of solar PV to their communities and promote renewable energy initiatives.

Can you share any innovative technological solutions or advancements your company has implemented to overcome specific challenges in the Kenyan market?

Ariya has developed an innovative Power Stabilization product that ensures stable, uninterrupted, seamless, and high-quality power for customers who experience inconsistent grid quality. This allows users to have consistent and dependable power solutions regardless of the grid conditions. Businesses and local industries are interested in this solution as it means they can operate without interruption or other energy hurdles and take advantage of cutting-edge technology right here in East Africa.

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How do you navigate the regulatory landscape in Kenya, and what measures do you take to ensure compliance with local policies and regulations?

Ariya employs specialist in-house legal and procurement practitioners to ensure that we are always up to date with the latest legislation and customs requirements, which is crucial to allow us to navigate an ever-evolving regulatory environment. The future in the renewable energy sector in East Africa is as bright as the Maasai Mara sun, and Ariya is proud to be a leader in this booming sector.

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