Ubbink East Africa has built a $2.7 million solar panel factory in Naivasha, Kenya. Ubbink East Africa Managing Director Haijo Kuper said during the official opening ceremony that the company will be producing 100 solar panels per day at the new facility, noting, "Our prices are at par with our competitors. The market is huge. As one of the sunniest continents on the planet, Africa gives solar applications like LED-lighting, mobile charging, water pumps, street lighting very short pay-back times thus minimizing pollution levels."
Ubbink East Africa is currently manufacturing solar panels with outputs of between 13 and 120 watts, targeting rural households. Ubbink East Africa is a joint venture of Ubbink B.V - a wholly owned subsidiary of Centrotec Sustainable AG- and Chloride Exide (Kenya), its local partner, and is the first to make photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in East and Central Africa, Nairobi’s Business Daily reported.
Centrotec Sustainable AG CEO Gert-Jan Huisman said that almost 98 percent of the rural population in Africa does not have access to grid electric power supplies, and this was holding back rural economic development.
Solar panels have the added advantage of being environmentally friendly, as most common energy sources in the African countryside are currently highly polluting kerosene lamps and diesel generators.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com