Kenya affirms commitment to renewable energy powered future

The Kenyan government has recommitted itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by dramatically increasing its reliance on various forms of renewable energy.
Kenya affirms commitment to renewable energy powered future

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said that large scale geothermal and wind energy projects are currently underway in the east African republic and more projects are to come.

Speaking during the 26th Session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Global Environment Ministerial Forum, Kibaki said, “The green climate funding that was generally agreed to and the global environment facility should support developing countries in transitioning towards green growth”.

Kibaki went on to stress the need for various countries to renew their commitments to a sustainable environmental agenda.

"I trust that as you undertake deliberations, the spirit of Nagoya and Cancun will be carried forward as the world prepares for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development next year," he said.

Kibaki noted that since the last meeting of the UNEP Governing Council, the world has faced numerous catastrophes linked to environmental degradation.

"These include unprecedented floods, widespread wildfires and devastating droughts. These challenges continue to negatively impact on our development goals. It is however encouraging that during the past year, both in Nagoya and Cancun, the hopes of the world were rekindled by agreements that underlined commitments towards collective action," he said.

Back home, Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority (REA) is piloting a business model for powering Kenya’s villages using renewable energy.

The project, being carried out together with the Ministry of Energy and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), seeks to promote commercial use of renewable energy as opposed to the regular home consumption.

REA Chief Executive Officer Zachary Ayieko said the programme is being designed to ensure that it offers institutions incentives for commercial sale of electricity generated to households, businesses, and other customers.

The project includes setting tariffs that are commensurate with consumers’ ability and willingness to pay and, if necessary, providing capital subsidy to assure the operator gets a reasonable profit.

JICA is expected to offer technical assistance in design and feasibility studies, training, and social organisation. The objective is to develop a system of incentives sufficiently attractive for private sector to do business in off-grid areas.

The government has announced that it has set aside Sh162.6 billion to fund energy development and power distributions in the country. Under the plan, solar is expected to be the predominant energy source for individual households in off-grid areas.

For additional information:

Kenyan Ministry of Energy

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