Kenya has a great opportunity to transition its electricity system towards renewable energy, in a quick and sustainable way, thereby embracing the choice of de-carbonization.
Scaling up green investments in key sectors such as energy, agriculture and transport would catalyze significant advancement in sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Speaking on Tuesday during a two day regional conference on renewable energy in East Africa at Strathmore University, Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said there were however challenges that have to be overcome if Kenya was to benefit from the many opportunities offered by renewable energy technologies.
Capacity building, increased access to finance, technology innovation and investing in renewable energy is the best option because it will help the country address its susceptibility to climate change effects and reduce global emissions, she said.
The CS further noted that considering the prominence of climate change in today’s global narrative, it is no surprise that renewable energy is the forefront development option.
She added that renewable energy promises to be the future of our energy needs providing clean and reliable energy thus it is crucial to the success of Kenya’s Vision 2030 energy goals.
Renewable, sustainable, competitively priced and affordable energy is one of the main catalysts of industrial growth and job creation, Wakhungu said.
The Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016-2030) the Protocol on Climate Change that Kenya, like many countries, signed as a guideline for our environmental sustainability efforts commits the government to increase the share of renewable energy geothermal, wind and solar in the national grid to at least 70 percent, the CS said
Wakhungu added that the government has steps to secure a sustainable and resilient country and has consistently invested substantial amount of financial resources towards renewable energy such as geothermal, wind, hydro and solar to power the economy.
The CS said expansion of geothermal power plants in Olkaria and Wind power projects in Turkana are vital in achieving Vision 2030 goal of universal energy.
She added that the Ministry has been on the forefront in tree growing and the tree cover has now increased to over 7 percent.
She congratulated Strathmore University for leveraging resources to safeguard the environment through solar project which demonstrated the level of commitment to sustainable development and clean energy.
I am glad that this practical demonstration and the renewable energy conference is happening here, on the continent of Africa. I urge other institutions and individuals to emulate you and become self-sufficient in power supply as well as avail excess power to the national grid, the CS said.
The two day regional conference will cover the key topics for renewable energy deployment such as enabling policy and regulatory frameworks, financing solutions and innovative business models, technological and technical issues, capacity building and socio-economic benefits to local economies.
An exhibition being held on the sidelines will allow for local, national and international renewable energy solutions providers to present their business and products.
Sub Saharan African countries are attracting attention as new markets for renewable energy technologies whose vast market potential is based on growing African energy demand.
Over 600 million people still live without access to energy in the region representing significant residential and productive demand for affordable, reliable and clean energy.
Source: Kenya News Agency