Green Architecture in Kenya. Solar Power.
Advantages of Solar Power.
Use of Solar power to heat water and provide electric energy might seem expensive during installation but in the long run, will provide alot of savings. With the ever increasing KPLC power bills, assuming a power bill of kes 2000 per month, this will take only 4 years to offset a solar power installation of kes 100,000.
This will enable the occupants to use free energy for the rest of their lives after the 4 years of initial payment as opposed to KPLC regular bills for as long as electric power energy is in use.
With the new Uhuru Kenyatta Government which has emphasized on Solar energy in its manifesto, its a matter of time before KPLC agrees to buy back excess solar power generated from individual residences.
In developed countries such as Germany, individual residences have installed solar panels which harvest solar energy during the day and sell it to the National power grid.
They then buy power back at night using the same power grid. This enables the country to ensure there are no power deficits while it save the house occupants from a high power bill. The meters are arranged in such a way that during the day they count negative electric energy while at night they count the usual positive energy units hence a net savings.
In Kenya, this has not been possible because the previous Governments were not emphasizing and encouraging this to happen. The major costs for solar power lies in the storage/batteries.
If KPLC can agree to buy back the electric energy during the day and the house occupants buy power normally during the night, this will go a long way in saving the high costs of buying batteries to save the solar power.
KPLC can ensure they have control of the frequency of power by being the sole suppliers of the DC to AC inverters.
If KPLC and the Uhuru Kenyatta Government can encourage the buying back of excess solar power from residential houses to the KLPC grid, the deficits of solar power productions can reduce hence the country economy improves.
Also, this reduction of deficit will help reduce the KPLC tariff rates hence cheaper power which will reduce cost of production. The loss of foreign exchange through KPLC generation of power using diesel e.g. IBER Africa diesel power production means that less capital will be used to purchase oil from foreign countries hence more money within the economy.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.