African solar energy project reaches crowdfunding target

The INTASAVE Energy project has reached its original target of $100,000 to bring solar energy to villages in Kenya.

The project has now extended the crowdfunding deadline to raise more money until 1 January, 2016 via the Indiegogo website.

The money will pay for the installation of Solar Nano Grids (SONGs) in the villages of Lemolo B and Echareria in Kenya, each of which will service the needs of at least 250 people. 

This is the first major milestone for the project that aims to reach over 500 communities across Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique within three years, transforming the lives of up to 250,000 people, as part of 

“The more funding we can raise at this stage, the more solar nano grids we can roll out to communities in Africa,” said Arran de Moubray, Head of Renewable Energy, INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group.

“Anyone can contribute from as little as $10 to help families in off-grid communities not only with household electricity, but to be able to mill corn, incubate chickens, run water pumps and manage micro enterprises, in a clean and sustainable way using SONGs – electricity is essential for development,” 

“Kenya was chosen as an ideal starting point in Africa because 30 million people (75% of the population) in Kenya are without electricity, 95% of whom are located in off-grid rural areas, which are simply not viable for larger solar installations”.

Speaking on the success of the project, Dr Murray Simpson, Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, and Chief Executive Officer of INTASAVE-CARIBSAVE Group, said: “This project is not about generating a short-term fix or a handout, it’s genuinely empowering people to make their lives better, so reaching our target is a fantastic achievement. It is vitally important to us that each installation provides a self-sustaining beneficial enterprise for families and the local communities, and this long-term approach is why our project is going to succeed where other attempts have struggled to deliver.” 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government and energy issues