17 May, 2022 Member article

EcoPhi receives RES funding to commercialise its innovative digitalisation solutions for renewable energy projects in Kenya

Karlsruhe, Germany, 5 May 2022 – For the development of the Kenyan market, ARE Member EcoPhi was selected as a participant in the RES programme of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection within the framework of the Export Initiative Energy. Renewable energies play a very important role in the expansion of energy supply in rural regions worldwide – also in Kenya. They are a driver for sustainable economic development there. However, a particular challenge with remote plants is that they are prone to faults and frequently stand still. By digitising the plants, they can be operated more sustainably and their service life increased. The first projects in Kenya have already been put into operation.

Hundreds of millions of people still do not have access to reliable electricity and water supplies. Renewable energies play a very important role in the climate-friendly expansion of this supply in rural regions without grid connections. New off-grid and on-grid solar installations and solar pumping systems are coming online every day, but not all of them are operating properly. “Many of the systems installed today will not operate reliably within the first year,” says Sebastian Zenz, EcoPhi’s Managing Director. The systems are often located in remote regions far from major cities and in harsh environments. Good skilled workers are not sufficiently available in many regions. Getting to the plants is therefore time-consuming and expensive. It is no surprise, therefore, that some of the plants come to a standstill after only a short time.

Furthermore, especially in the case of widely distributed plants, the management of the systems poses great challenges for the operators and requires high capacities. Digital solutions can help to operate the plants more efficiently and sustainably.


The EcoPhi products – modular and versatile in use

Only if the plants are operated sustainably and also function properly they can contribute to climate protection and economic development. This is the goal pursued by the company EcoPhi. It offers remote monitoring and digitisation solutions specifically for plants in rural regions and harsh environments. EcoPhi systems are characterized by the fact that they are robust and easy to install.

Installers, operators and end customers can thus keep an eye on the plants at all times and intervene quickly in the event of problems or even carry out remote maintenance without having to travel long distances. This saves time and money and ensures that the plants are in operation for longer in the end.

A special feature of the EcoPhi systems is also their modularity and flexible applicability. Thus, the systems can already be used economically in small solar home systems – but also in large and complex installations such as minigrids or C&I projects.


Kenya as an interesting market and hub for the entire East Africa region

This flexibility is also evident in one of the company’s current projects in Kenya. Together with the Kenyan company Lean Energy Solutions, EcoPhi is monitoring sustainable biomass heating systems used in various industrial processes in Nairobi. Three new systems were commissioned here in March 2022.

“Kenya is strategically a very interesting market for EcoPhi. Both the on-grid market and the off-grid market are developing very quickly and dynamically,” says Zenz. In the short term, the country serves primarily as a sales market for EcoPhi products. In the long term, Kenya can establish itself as a hub for activities on the continent and especially in East Africa.

In April 2022, EcoPhi was awarded the ‘Solar Company of the Year: Monitoring Solutions’ award at the 2022 KENYA SOLAR WEEK LEADERSHIP AWARDS.

By participating in the programme, EcoPhi aims to establish itself even further on the Kenyan market and expand its local activities. In doing so, the company is relying heavily on cooperation with Kenyan partners and companies in the fields of solar energy, water supply and agriculture. As part of the market development, the company will conduct sales and product training to strengthen local partners. In May, EcoPhi will showcase its products and services at the Solar Africa Expo.

The RES project Kenya is funded under the Renewable Energy Solutions Program of the Export Initiative Energy of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.