Solar Market Outlook in Kenya
There is an ongoing debate in Kenya’s energy sector because of the growing shift towards solar energy. The leading electricity distributor in Kenya has cited a decrease in revenue as more consumers and businesses are shifting towards solar power.
The proponents of solar energy continue to champion the benefits of this renewable energy source and consumers are shifting to solar power generation, which continues to eat further into the traditional electric distributors’ profits. The high cost of electricity and taxes are the primary motivation to consider renewable energy as an alternative source. As of now, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority in Kenya has reported that solar energy accounts for 1% of the country’s current electricity mix. And yet, the country’s location in the equatorial zone means that it has high potential for solar energy. Solar is, therefore, looked at as a viable energy source and as part of the effort to achieve carbon emission goals. Despite having the highest exposure to the sun, Kenya is the most underdeveloped in terms of solar PV capacity. The wider adoption of solar energy will require education and training to succeed.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Kenya
There is a lack of domestic suppliers and distributors of solar power equipment. They rely on the importation of these supplies from global and online suppliers and distributors.
Top Major Seaports & Logistics in Kenya
There are plenty of commercial ports in Kenya wherein solar equipment can be transported. Some of them include
- the Port of Shimoni,
- Kilindini Harbor,
- Port Tudor,
- Port Reitz, Port of Kiunga,
- Port of Lamu,
- Port of Mombasa,
- Port of Mbaraki.
Ground Mount Systems
Ground Mount Systems for Solar
When you install a solar panel system at home or your working space, you have different mounting ways to choose from. Although you observe that most residential and commercial properties have solar panels installed on their rooftop, that’s not the only means. Besides, that is the only traditional way of placing your solar panels. There are several ways to place and install your solar power systems. Among the methods of installing solar panel systems, the ground mount system is the most common one.
In today’s article, we will explain what a ground mount system is, its cost, benefits, and other important things you should know about it.
What is a Solar Ground Mount System?
Let’s simply put it in a simpler way. From the words “ground” and “mount” a ground mount solar power system is a way of mounting or installing your solar panel system on the ground or any large field near your property rather than installing them at your property’s roof. This type of ground mount system is a good alternative solar solution if you don’t want to place it on top of your house. As long as you have a large yard or field near your place and there is abundant sunlight in your area you can easily have your solar panels installed. Usually, the panels are placed anywhere from a few inches to a few feet off the ground, depending on how your installers set up the racking system.
Types of Ground Mount Systems
The ground-mounted solar system has two main types: standard ground mount and pole mount. The standard one is the same as the pole-mounted ones, the only difference is it is not elevated on poles but rather directly installed on the ground using ground anchors to hold up a racking table.
A standard mount system is also easier to install as it typically holds the solar array in a fixed position on the ground. Besides, it is a more cost-effective solution for a ground install compared to a pole mount system that usually has tracking systems, resulting in a higher cost per watt.
Meanwhile, a pole-mounted system acts as a support system to the ground-mounted panels. Since they are elevated on poles, they can easily get maximum sun absorption. Not to mention that they have a monitoring option that allows the solar panels to angle with the sun’s direction.
What Properties are Applicable for Ground Mount Systems?
You can get your solar panels mounted on the ground for your residential or commercial properties as long as you have an open space to place them. Typically, for a residential home, you will need 60-cell solar panels, same with the solar panel size used in residential roof solar installations. Solar farms and bigger facilities are also applicable for ground-mounted solar installations. These properties need larger-scale ground-mounted systems, usually 72-cell solar panels to power the entire building. In this case, a wider field or ground space is needed to install the solar power system.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Ground-Mounted Solar System?
When it comes to residential and commercial/agricultural properties, there will be a significant difference between the cost of ground-mounted solar panels installation before and after applying incentives. To give you an estimated cost, the average residential property can expect to pay between $23,000 and $46,000+ to get a ground-mounted solar system, but prices still vary depending on the size of solar panels. Whereas, commercial and industrial properties can expect to pay $66,000 to $200,000+ to install a ground-mounted solar system.