Workshop on Strengthening Support for Domestic Firms in the Solar PV Industry in Kenya

24 June, 2020

Domestic Energy SMEs face several challenges that hinders them from upscaling and grow their businesses. This workshop brings together representatives from solar PV firms, government as well as the energy regulator and the renewable energy association to discuss the challenges of domestic firms and to formulate potential solutions to remove bottlenecks and lower specific barriers for Kenyan solar PV SMEs.

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UNEP DTU Partnership together with Strathmore Energy Research Centre have conducted an in-depth study to explore how firms have grown and become competitive over time covering 14 Kenyan solar PV SMEs. The study reveals insights into how company owners started and grew their businesses, strategies for upscaling as well as the challenges faced along the way and how they were overcome. The workshop takes point of departure in this study to discuss challenges specific to domestic firms such as lack of access to funding, human resource constraints, inconsistent policies and regulations, and an inadequate business ecosystem.

Objectives of workshop

1)   Validate findings from interviews with domestic firm representatives, government actors and sector experts;
2)   Dive into and expand upon concrete issues and challenges that are specific to domestic firms operating in the solar PV market in Kenya;
3)   Collectively identify actionable recommendations to strengthen the support system for domestic firms.

Workshop Programme

Welcome Note 
Mathilde Brix Pedersen; UNEP-DTU Partnership.

Brief round of introductions
Representatives from the MoI, MoEP, EPRA and, KEREA

Presentation on key findings from the interviews with domestic solar MSMEs in Kenya, including:
– SME characteristics and business strategies
– Global value chains and upgrading pathways
Lakshmi Bhamidipati, UNEP-DTU Partnership

10:45am to 11:00am
Presentation on the 3 themes (Finance, Skills, Policies & Regulations) and related challenges
Louise Strange, UNEP-DTU Partnership

11:00 am to 12 noon
– Arrive at action points to take forward
Hope Njoroge, SERC & Lakshmi Bhamidipati

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