By Erick Akasa
More than 100 investors from the United Kingdom (UK) and Kenya Thursday met in Nairobi for the United Kingdom-Kenya Renewable Energy Conference (REC100) which focused on unlocking Kenya’s renewable energy potential by stimulating new investments to achieve the national goal of adding 5000MW of installed energy capacity by 2017.
According to Eng. Joseph Njoroge, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya, the ministry is committed to 5000MW plan by 2017 to ensure adequate reliable and sustainable energy sources for Kenyans.
“For that to happen, we will heavily rely on renewable sources to achieve our goal,” he said.
Eng. Njoroge said that half of energy for the project come from geothermal sources, 40 per cent from hydro sources and a small percentage from wind hence all come from renewable sources.
The conference is as a result of the partnership between the British High Commission and Barclays Bank of Kenya with the aim of securing investment into Kenya’s growing energy sector to build a strong pipeline of deals hence accelerate the nations pace of affordable electrification.
The collaboration between the UK and Kenyan renewable energy sectors is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Governments in May of 2016, which saw the UK commit Ksh 70.5 billion to support the development of strategic renewable energy projects in Kenya. The MoU also promotes opportunities for private sector trade and investment by the UK in Kenya’s renewable energy sector.
According to Nic Hailey British High Commissioner to Kenya, the UK and Kenya are at the vanguard of renewable energy, clean technology and innovation. Kenya has one of the most active renewable energy sectors in Africa, and the UK is a global leader in many of the sectors for which Kenya has greatest demand.
“We are excited by this growing UK-Kenya partnership in renewables, working together to bring clean, sustainable energy to the Kenyan people and accelerate Kenya’s development and economic growth,” he pointed out.
“Our expertise in investment financing and knowledge of the energy sector and its technologies position us to take advantage of falling renewable energy costs by partnering with the right investors to help Kenya achieve the government’s 5000MW plan by 2017,” said Jeremy Awori Barclay’s Bank of Kenya CEO.
“With the power of our more that 20-year legacy in this specialism, including our comprehensive platform of existing partnerships, we continue to develop key alliances with a view to structure additional investments for local developers. We are currently working on a partnership with Eiser Infrastructure, an independent equity fund headquartered in London, that will link local developers with international investors,” he said.
Kenya still has a low electrification rate by development standards, meaning that more power projects must be developed in order to meet demand, achieve the Government of Kenya’s targets, and deliver accessible pricing.