Kenya can considerably reduce the cost of doing business and enhance investment by tapping its huge renewable energy potential, Uasin Gishu County Governor, Jackson Mandago has said. He explained that prohibitive cost of energy that currently stands at 14 US cents per kilowatt has frustrated investment bids in Kenyan counties adding that it is time the cost was scaled down to below 10 cents.
A possible way of lowering this cost, the governor offered, was by leveraging on various forms of clean energy such as solar, water, wind and biogas which exist in substantial amounts across the country.
Mandago was speaking Tuesday August 9, when he opened a training workshop on renewable energy planning for counties at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
The governor who heads the Infrastructure and Energy Committee at the Council of Governors warned that should the country continue relying on carbon based energy in the wake of global warming, then the end result would be disaster.
‘’We need to diversify into sources that are clean, renewable and can keep our environment safe for human habitation,’’ Governor Mandago said.
Mandago who has been appointed to the World Council of Renewable Energy lauded JKUAT for the renewable energy technologies which he said could be harnessed to help counties increase access to affordable, sustainable and reliable energy supply.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said JKUAT engineers had pioneered innovative research that digests water hyacinth into biogas.
‘’The technology can be deployed to create jobs to our counties along the Lake while providing a source of clean energy for the residents and Kenyans at large,’’ Prof. Imbuga said.
The Vice Chancellor also informed the workshop that JKUAT had ‘’launched a home-gas project that seeks to provide rural households with mini-biogas units that run on animals wastes.’’
Paul Harris who is one of the workshop trainers said Kenya and Africa could leapfrog the vagaries of fossil fuel by tapping renewable energy sources. To achieve that, he called for proper planning, targeted investments and ownership both at county and national levels.
During the four-day workshop that was organized by the Council of Governors and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the participants will be inducted on how to identify renewable sources, energy planning and utilization of appropriate technologies to optimally exploit available sources.
Charles Kalomba who addressed the opening session on behalf of UNIDO, said the organization remains committed to help counties realize renewable energy potential towards livelihoods transformation.