EDF Energy (Electricite de France), an energy supplies company, has agreed to buy stakes in off-grid focused energy firms Econet Energy Kenya and Bboxx Kenya. This will see EDF become the latest global firm to target the local fast-growing off-grid energy market.
EDF in a statement, said it has bought a 50% stake in solar energy firm Econet Energy Kenya and a 23% stake in off-grid energy company Bboxx Kenya. The financial terms were not disclosed.
EDF has entered the Kenyan market in solar irrigation pumps for small-holder farmers with its partner Sunculture. EDF said it will now extend its off-grid offer to the residential market and target to connect more than 2 million Kenyans to electricity by 2025.
“By partnering with Bboxx Kenya and Econet Energy Kenya, the EDF Group becomes a key player in the Kenyan market of low carbon energy solutions. “It also proves the relevance of our development model based on building long-term partnerships with local players around solutions tailored to the specific needs of each market,” said Béatrice Buffon, EDF Group senior executive vice-president in charge of International Division in a statement.
The French group is present in 14 countries through a wide range of low-carbon energy solutions, from renewable generation to grids and energy services.
More off-grid solar power start-ups are venturing into Kenya’s rural areas, offering pay-as-you-go kits to claim customers who lack reliable access to electricity. Venture capital funds have consequently been stepping up their investments in the clean and renewable energy space in Kenya.
This has coincided with the growth of the Kenyan solar kits market which has attracted multinationals like Indian firm Orb Energy and Germany-based Mobisol as well as local company M-Kopa.