The Energy Centre Model - An Approach to Village Scale Energy Supply
A model for off-grid, village scale power supply has been developed through a pilot project in Ikisaya in Kenya. The project was initiated and carried out by a team of social scientists and practitioners from Kenya, India, Norway and Austria through the Solar Transitions research project, led by the University of Oslo. Through a participatory approach with the local community, the project developed an energy centre model which became operational on March 20th, 2012. The model creates affordable and accessible basic lighting and electricity services for off-grid households and businesses through a financially sustainable design. It is designed to be operated by local residents on commercial principles. Today, it provides lighting services to about 100 households. Other services provided at the centre include phone charging, photocopying, typing, TV/video shows and electric shaving. The paper describes and rationalizes the model and shares experiences from the first 1½ years of operation. The financial performance is documented and suggestions are provided on how the model could be improved.
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