Powering Agriculture with Renewable Energy
Agriculture is a cornerstone of Kenya’s economy, with horticulture and the export of flowers serving as a major employer. Energy is an important part of modern Kenyan agriculture, accounting for 15 percent of input costs. A lack of stable and available energy sources is an issue, which leads farmers to rely on expensive, polluting diesel generators as a backup source.
Clean Energy Solution
Ariya’s project will provide end to end cost-effective, low-risk renewable energy generation and energy efficiency services to local flower and horticulture farms in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. These services will be structured to minimize the up-front investment required by farmers. A mixed technology approach, using various DRE and energy efficiency solutions, will allow flexibility in designing energy systems tailored for each user.
The project will provide flower farms and horticulture groups with dependable, cost effective, green energy solutions, which ultimately impact their bottom line. Increased reliability of power will allow farmers to use more sophisticated techniques, such as hydroponics and aeroponics, which lead to improved productivity and reduced water usage. Beneficial impacts will include reduced carbon emissions thus allowing East African horticulture exporters to retain their competitive edge by neutralizing the carbon cost of flying their produce to European markets, on-demand power production, potential return of surplus power to the grid, and job creation.
Ariya Capital Group (Ariya) is an experienced fund manager that develops, structures, invests, and manages clean energy and infrastructure projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Ariya has partnered with African Solar Designs (ASD), a Kenya-based renewable and rural energy company, and Windfire, a UK-based renewable energy company that provides medium-scale Vertical Axis Wind Turbine solutions for the Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) sector.
Ariya commissioned their first systems in August 2017 totaling 200kWp, with installation of the third and fourth systems totaling 117kWp system to be commissioned by mid December 2017, and several others to follow in 2018. The systems are located on farms, include remote monitoring, and are used to power pumping, refrigeration, lighting, irrigation and fertilizer dispersal. While many farms have access to the national grid, the Ariya systems ensure consistent, reliable power for their operations. Ariya’s future plans include developing two business models: one that will target smaller clients (200-300kW) and one for larger clients (5 MW). The majority of Ariya’s horticulture customers employ more than 50% women. Following a number of tenders and expressions of interest Ariya has shortlisted three qualified engineering, procurement, and construction companies that they work with for the construction of the power plants.
- Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) portal on energypedia
- Powering Agriculture Homepage, Winners/ Innovators
- Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development
- Powering Agriculture Newsletters
- Kenya Energy Situation
- Tanzania Energy Situation
- Uganda Energy Situation
- Website Ariya Capital Group Limited
- Webite African Solar Designs
- Website Windfire Group
- Powering Agriculture http://poweringag.org/innovators/powering-agriculture-renewable-energy