Powering Kenya's flower farms with the sun

Grace Nyachae runs a fair-trade flower farm called "Simbi Roses" in Kenya and exports roses all over the world. It's an energy-intensive business, and Nyachae needs a cheap and reliable source of power. That's often a problem in Kenya though, where power costs are high and electricity blackouts are not uncommon.

In a country with lots of sunshine hours, solar energy could provide a real alternative. But businesses are often unable to afford expensive photovoltaic systems. German startup Ecoligo is trying to change that by financing solar modules through a crowdfunding model. Investors contribute toward the systems and get interest in return.

Local companies then receive a solar unit that is ready for use and pay a monthly fee for the electricity until the system is paid off.

For the past year, Nyachae has been paying Ecoligo each month for her solar module. It's about 25% less than what she once paid for electricity. Business owners Gordon and Stuart Millar have also switched to solar power on their flower farm with the help of Ecoligo. They've installed a floating solar system, the first of its kind in Kenya.

Read the complete article at www.dw.com.


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