It is no surprise for Nairobi residents, and many other African cities, to experience constant blackouts caused by inefficient grid systems and unreliable power sources from the utility companies. The conventional solution has been to install petroleum based electric generators to kick in during such incidents. However, the amount of energy that could be produced through solar equipment constructed onto and integrated into existing infrastructure would easily exceed the demand, three to five times over. By using areas around existing infrastructure, Nairobi could substantially increase how much energy it gets from solar, without the complications that come with finding new space for equipment, or significantly altering the surrounding areas, or even causing harm to the natural habitat.
Distributed systems can be sized to meet a small, localized energy demand and may function independent of the grid. These systems usually require little to no ancillary facilities, often utilizing pre-existing infrastructure within the built environment. Residential and commercial rooftops, present plenty of opportunity for power generation through small and utility-scale solar power installations. Other urban spaces, such as parks, also offer untapped areas for installations.