The initiative by JKUAT to promote research, production and uptake of renewable energy in the country has received impetus following the sealing of five year collaboration with Japanese Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), to undertake the same, on Wednesday September 12, 2012.
Under the new arrangement, the two institutions will engage in institutional capacity building, sharing human and capital resources to actualize applied research in areas of renewable energy, engineering, science and other thematic areas.
Speaking during the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the president of AIT, Prof. Izumi Ushiyama emphasized the two institutions’ capacity to spearhead renewable energy research in the region.
The collaboration will also be epitomized by student and staff exchange programmes, workshops and conferences on relevant themes, technology transfer and joint publications among others.
Exploitation of renewable energy has been identified as one of the most feasible and affordable avenues of entrenching rural electrification in the country. Currently, over 80% of Kenya’s population resides in the rural areas while only 30% of the Kenyans have access to electricity.
Kenya is home to abundant renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal which remains largely untapped. Exploitation and utilization of such energy sources will afford Kenyans clean and reliable energy, requisite in the realization of Kenya’s vision 2030.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga welcomed the partnership terming it long overdue since, “reliable and clean energy is the socio-economic enabler in modern times”.