Posted in May 2013

Kenya review

The third and final stop of my trip was Kenya, where I basically stayed in the capital Nairobi the entire time. Although the climate was more pleasant, the traffic was not. Getting from point A to point B within the city center proved to be very time-consuming. However, I had the chance to meet organizations, companies and associations related to my research and once again: kite power technology was very well received.

Similarly to earlier reviews, my major visits are shortly discussed below. If you have any further questions to one or more appointments and their results please feel free to contact me anytime.

Rural Electrification Authority

The equivalent of the Rural Energy Agency in Tanzania is named Rural Electrification Authority (REA). Their mission is to “…efficiently provide high quality and affordable electricity connectivity in all rural areas and to achieve high standards of customer service through advancing community participation to ensure long term sustainability and socio-economic development.” (REA, 2013)

Meeting with one of the employees resulted in a very lively discussion, the results of which showed again that kite power systems feature many of the ideal characteristics to overcome the barriers and challenges that are persistent in the efforts towards rural electrification.

Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute

Located in the outskirts of Nairobi, the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) is a national research institute established in 1979 that is involved in several disciplines like technology development and reverse engineering, process and product development for value addition and to generate information geared towards policy formulation. They also strive to collaborate with other research and relevate bodies both locally and internationally.

Especially for collaboration on a pilot project, KIRDI could be a supporting partner in many fields. The expertise ranges from theoretical R&D efforts to more practical work with the focus of problem solving.

RIWIK

The company RIWIK was founded by the Dutch entrepreneurs Eric de Jong and Bart Fugers and started its operations in Kenya in the beginning of 2012. RIWIK provides wind turbines, solar panels and solar powered water pumps to households, businesses and institutions in rural Kenya. Acting as the CEO, former SET student Bart Fugers could share crucial information regarding the obstacles he faced within the last years of starting a local company in Kenya.

Kenya Renewable Energy Association

Similar to the Tanzanian organization TAREA, the Kenya Renewable Energy Association is an independent non-profit association dedicated to facilitating the growth and development of renewable energy business in Kenya. Especially to identify and promote synergies, KEREA can play an important role in both the realization of a pilot project and commercial efforts in the near future.

Climate Innovation Centre

The Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) is a consortium of four parties: Strathmore Business School, PWC, KIRDI and GEVP International. Its mission is to “…provide an integrated set of services, activities and programmes that empowers Kenyan entrepreneurs to deliver innovative climate technology solutions.” (CIC, 2013).

The application for the fund that they offer will be submitted in the near future. Being granted this fund would mean a very serious step towards the realization of a pilot project.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority

For both a pilot project and commercialization, regulatory agencies regarding the air space play an important role. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is the local body that takes all the major decisions. Currently we are in contact with them to discuss the topic.

Closing remarks

This post will be the last of my trip and by now I arrived safely back in Delft. The upcoming weeks will show which of the many opportunities will be pursued. Together with my teammate Manuel Vargas we will have finalized a business plan for kite power in developing countries by the end of next month. Applications will be filled in and pitches in front of investors will be held.

All news and updates will also be posted here and on Twitter. As always, I invite everyone to participate in the discussion on this topic. Let’s work together towards the best solution possible.

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