Kenya: Making solar energy affordable
Renewable Energy & Climate
Orb Energy Pvt. Ltd. in Kenya is a solar solutions company facilitating end-user finance through a partnership with financial institutions. Orb’s approach is to bring the low-cost capital and services of existing banks and MFIs in Kenya to use for the improvement of solar energy access in rural and peri-urban areas. Orb has an explicit strategy to engage the local banking and microfinance industry to provide funding to its customers for solar energy systems. Through these partnerships, Orb is able to ensure that customers receive a high-quality solar solution, at a reasonably priced loan.
Orb designs and manufactures its own solar products in its manufacturing facilities in India. Through its branch network, Orb sells a range of solar energy solutions, such as plug and play solar home systems (SHS) that cater for basic electricity needs, and solar water heating systems (SWH).
To grow Orb’s business model of working with financial institutions, a rapid expansion of its branch and service network is of paramount importance. Having a well-established service network with trained staff is important to the company’s financial partners as it gives confidence that it will service its solar systems over time – which is important for customer satisfaction and for clients paying their loans timely without default.
Advance Consulting assisted Orb Energy in acquiring co-funding to roll-out its retail infrastructure, recruit and train technical, operations and sales staff, train distribution and banking partners, and include last mile entrepreneurs around the branches to work together in reaching remote communities. Refer to the video below for a report from CNN on Orb Energy in India.
Photo credit: DIV at USAID
Orb Energy Pvt. Ltd.
EUR 470,000 grant funding by the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) and USD 550,000 interest-free loan by the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG)