Solar-powered refrigeration for fishing communities in Kenya

Photo: Renewable World, Kenya

Grants for new renewable energy projects

For every MWh of EKOenergy, 0.10 € goes to EKOenergy’s Climate Fund to finance new renewable energy projects in developing countries. All supported projects alleviate energy poverty and contribute to the realisation of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG 2 (zero hunger) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being).

As the number of EKOenergy consumers increases, so do the contributions to our Climate Fund. Because of this, we are now able to explore new ways to increase the impact of our grants by supporting larger projects lasting for several years.

Until now, our grants have mainly been between 20,000 to 40,000 € and were given to projects that last a maximum of 2 years. We are happy to announce that we have now selected a larger project for the first time.

Using renewable energy to transform fishing livelihoods in Kenya

We will grant 313,581 € to Renewable World’s project “Using Renewable Energy to Transform Fishing Livelihoods”, which aims to improve community resilience through access to clean energy technology for 1,970 households on Takawiri Island in Homa Bay, Kenya.

While Kenya’s urban and rural trading centres largely have access to grid power, only one-fifth of households living outside these centres are connected to the grid. The other 80% cannot afford the connection fee or are based beyond the reach of the grid.

The project will be spread over 4 years. It builds on Renewable World’s ten-year track record of providing solar power to fishing communities across Lake Victoria in Kenya and is based on a careful assessment of the obstacles to the well-being of the local communities.

In the first half of the project, the focus will be on the provision of ice and purified water. Solar energy will be used to power the purification and ice-making processes. For the implementation of this part of the project, Renewable World will establish a collaboration with Adili Solar Hubs, a youth-led social enterprise. Adili Solar Hubs will be in charge of the installation of a system that will generate 300kg of ice and 3,000 litres of filtered water per day at an affordable price.

Access to affordable and safe drinking water will help combat water-borne diseases e.g., typhoid, which is an ongoing problem in the region. The availability of ice at an affordable rate will ensure better preservation of caught fish and will increase the profit margin of subsistence fishers.

By providing these services in a market-based setting, this project should lead to sustainable income generation for many, in such a way that the water purification and ice-making activities can sustain themselves financially, and that concept can be more easily replicated in other villages and regions. For example, the revenue generated from water and ice sales will pay for the manual labour required to run the system and manage the business, contribute to associated overheads and ensure the availability of a repair and maintenance fund.

Knowledge-building and the development of the technical capacity of the fishing community are key too. The project will, for example, promote sustainable fishing practices to tackle issues related to overfishing, thereby contributing to the sustainability of fishing as a livelihood.

In a later phase, the project partners will evaluate the introduction of other clean technology solutions that can help to increase the income from sustainable fishing. These solutions will take the experiences during the first phase of the project into account as well as the feedback and needs of the involved communities. It’s Renewable World’s ambition to gradually create an environment that enables further investment and resource allocation from the public and private sectors into additional clean energy and low environmental impact technologies.

In the past 8 years, the EKOenergy Climate Fund has granted a total of 2,287,798 €. This has enabled the realisation of 79 projects in 27 countries so far. You can find an overview of all financed projects on the Climate Fund page of our website.

Published: 1 February 2023