East Africa banks on green energy to drive growth

East African countries may soon emerge as global leaders in green energy, if efforts put by the various governments to exploit sources of renewable energy are attained.

Various stakeholders attending the East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) in Nairobi yesterday agreed that universal access to affordable energy could only be achieved by exploiting clean energy. Energy and Petroleum Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said the Government is committed to using renewable energy to access modern energy. “The Government of Kenya is committed to increasing access to modern energy, and will use Renewable Energy solutions as much as possible,” said Eng Njoroge while addressing delegates. He said there are several ongoing projects to tap into green energy. “I see a lot of development in the clean power market in the area, but also a lot of isolated initiatives,” explained Jonker Klunne, Clean Power East Africa chairman.

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Kenya to generate over half of its electricity through solar power by 2016

Government invests $1.2bn jointly with private companies to build solar power plants across the country

Kenya has identified nine sites to build solar power plants that could provide more than half the country's electricity by 2016.

Construction of the plants, expected to cost $1.2bn (£73m), is set to begin this year and initial design stages are almost complete. The partnership between government and private companies will see the state contributing about 50% of the cost.

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KenGen Shines at the East African Power Industry Awards in Kenya

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen scored a double win at the inaugural East African Power Industry Awards in Nairobi on Thursday evening when the utility won the Outstanding Clean Power Award and also took top place in the Excellence in Power Generation category.

Other popular winners were Dr Albert Butare, former Energy Minister of Rwanda who won the Lifetime Achievement Award for East Africa, as well as H.E. Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim from Ethiopia who is the African Union’s Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy who won the Outstanding Woman in Power, Regional Award East Africa.

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Kenya: Solar Energy May Be Just What Kenya Needs for Industrial Take-Off

When President Uhuru Kenyatta reconstituted the Rural Electrification Authority board recently and appointed me chairman, I joined a team that was committed to enhancing the authority's contribution towards achieving Kenya's development goals.

We are faced with a number of questions on how best to do this, including what we can do to ensure Kenya exploits its solar energy and how the country is faring in the use of solar energy, compared with other countries.

In answering these questions, we began by focusing on the basic logic that informed the establishment of REA, which was to ensure Kenyans in the rural areas are given a chance to access electricity for their advancement. That is why REA has embarked on the one-solar-panel-per-home campaign in regions that are far from the national grid.

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