Kenya as an economy is growing at unprecedented speed coupled with high electricity demand hence, increasing the challenges of more generation and stresses on the utility grids. The country has a population of over 45 million according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Economic Survey of 2017. One of the core challenges as Kenya continues to grow and develop is Energy; meeting rising demand for power, transport and other uses in a way that is economically sustainable and safeguards livelihoods.
Economic growth, changing lifestyles and the need for reliable modern energy access is expected to require energy supply to at least doubled by 2030 but for electricity it might even have to triple. Kenya is richly endowed with Renewable Energy sources and the time is right for sound planning to ensure the right energy mix. Decisions made today will shape the country’s energy use of decades to come.
The power sector in Kenya presents a significant opportunity to be transformed through mainstreaming of Renewable Energy Technologies in the County levels. Further to these, new technologies like smart grids, decentralized energy planning, energy management practices, energy efficiency are emerging as mechanisms to sustainably manage the challenges of fossil fuels.
The Climate change Act of 2016, empowers the Climate Change Council to ensure the mainstreaming of climate change function by the National and County government. The devolved governments are required to mainstream climate change actions in all their functions. They are also supposed to develop County Integrated Development Plans and County Sectoral Plans in line with the Act and the National Climate Change Action Plan.
Stakeholder mapping is one of the key strategies NETFUND is using to facilitate the adoption of RETs in the County levels. Forums in the County levels have been done with key stakeholders representing the energy sector, environment. Healthy discussions are driving the agenda of the best mechanisms of adopting the RETs in the 47 counties in Kenya.
So, what is the way forward?
- More rational programmes and policies need to be developed and implemented in the County levels to facilitate adoption of these technologies
- More research need to be done in the area of adoption of RETs and especially on rural areas in the Counties to identify consumption patterns, modalities of promoting clean energy sources.
- Create more awareness nationally and at the county levels on importance of using these technologies as one way of improving livelihoods and longevity of life.