The promotion of clean energy technologies in Kenya

Cleophas Mecha, par­tic­i­pant of the COBENEFITS Online Train­ing, Kenya

In this part of our series Co-ben­e­fits Sto­ries, Cleophas Mecha talks about renew­able ener­gy deploy­ment in dif­fer­ent regions in Kenya – and their effects. For this series, we have asked ener­gy pro­fes­sion­als that have par­tic­i­pat­ed in our train­ings for their thoughts and expe­ri­ences on co-ben­e­fits of renew­able ener­gy in their country.

“Kenya is work­ing towards abat­ing its green­house gas­es emis­sions by 30% by 2030 to con­tribute to the glob­al efforts to mit­i­gate cli­mate change. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, this will facil­i­tate the attain­ment of the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment agenda.

Increased adop­tion of renew­able ener­gy is an impor­tant step in the attain­ment of this goal. Kenya is there­fore seek­ing to expand geot­her­mal, solar, wind, and mod­ern bio­mass such as bio-waste. Such ener­gy sources are avail­able in dif­fer­ent regions of the coun­try. For instance, the North-East­ern part of the coun­try has an abun­dance of solar and wind ener­gy; parts of Naku­ru and Naivasha have abun­dant geot­her­mal ener­gy; and the rest of the coun­try has ade­quate bio-waste that can be used for bioen­er­gy pro­duc­tion. This will pro­mote clean ener­gy tech­nolo­gies and reduce over­re­liance on tra­di­tion­al fuels such as fire­wood. To achieve this, there is a need for reg­u­la­to­ry poli­cies and pub­lic financ­ing. A sta­ble pol­i­cy envi­ron­ment with clear objec­tives at the local, region­al and nation­al lev­el are impor­tant to encour­age the smooth tran­si­tion to renew­ables. Such poli­cies should also ensure ben­e­fit-shar­ing and build local capa­bil­i­ties which are need­ed to cre­ate employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties on the local, region­al and nation­al level.”

Based on insights of the COBENEFITS research group, the Renew­ables Acad­e­my (RENAC) cur­rent­ly con­ducts train­ings in Turkey, Kenya, South Africa and Mex­i­co. Par­tic­i­pants learn about co-ben­e­fits of renew­able ener­gy in cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion, tools to quan­ti­fy and com­mu­ni­cate social and eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties and poli­cies and instru­ments to mobilise them.