PowerGen is a Nairobi-based renewable energy enterprise that aims to improve access to electricity in rural regions of Kenya by providing underserved and isolated communities with power through micro-grid systems. PowerGen seeks not only to reduce dependence on inefficient, expensive and harmful forms of energy (e.g. kerosene) but also to unlock the potential contained within these communities by supplying them with enough power to drive forward economic growth.
PowerGen was founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011 on the basis of two simple ideas:
(1) All over the world, renewable technologies continue their ascent as the energy sources of the future.
(2) Africa is poised for enormous continued growth and innovation in the decades ahead.
PowerGen is a partner company to WindGen, a wind turbine manufacturer incorporated in 2011. Upon realising that the East African market held less demand for wind turbines than originally anticipated, WindGen created PowerGen to expand into other sources of renewable energy. PowerGen built their first micro-grid in 2013 in Zambia, and since then have installed over 1MW of solar across seven countries, impacting thousands across Africa - helping to improve living conditions within homes, schools, orphanages, and health clinics. They have continued to grow and now have a team of over 120 full time employees with offices in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone.
Power Gen’s business isn’t just about increasing energy access – it’s also about leading the change in implementing the future energy system of Africa. In their own words:
“Africa, with its weak incumbent infrastructure, shouldn’t be aiming to build an energy system emulating that of the US or Europe today. Instead we must be focused on building the energy system of the future, converging on where the US and Europe will be decades from now.
What does this future energy system look like? It will involve on-grid storage, distributed generation, and smart metering. It will incorporate more intelligent tariffs and billing systems. It will be modular, acting more like a network composed of many semi-autonomous nodes rather than a monodirectional pipeline for commoditized electrons. Customers will be treated as customers for energy and other services, not just as ‘ratepayers’ that happen to be on the other end of a wire.”