By James Anyanzwa
The Government has secured a Sh1.32 billion loan from both the Government of Belgium and KBC Bank of Belgium to finance the Ngong Hills Electricity Generation Wind Turbine phase 11.
The loan includes a state-to-state zero interest credit agreement of six million euros and a concessional credit agreement with the KBC Bank of Belgium of 6.36 million euros.
Speaking during the signing of the Ngong Hills Wind Turbine Electricity Generation Project phase 11, Finance Minister, Njeru Githae, said the loan has come at an opportune time as the country struggles to contain rampant deforestation.
And while Kenya has significant variety of potential energy sources – including hydropower, geothermal, solar, wind and biomass – wood fuel accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption, with 80 per cent of the population depending on it for domestic energy needs. And the use of wood fuel has had a significant contribution to deforestation.
“Given the environmental negative impact development cost of hydro-electric energy and fuel energy challenges, the future source of clean energy of solar and wind generated electricity is ideal,” Githae told reporters at the Treasury building in Nairobi on Wednesday.
He pointed out that the Government would promote the use of sustainable energy sources to reverse the deforestation trend.
Githae also pointed out that the provision of electricity to the Kenyan people is still very low, with a meager 121kw hours per capital. This consumption level translates into one of the lowest rural (four per cent) and national (15 per cent) access rates in the world.
He lauded the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, saying it has supported critical sectors in Kenya, which include health, water, environment, education, information technology and Phase 1 of Ngong Hills Wind Turbine Electricity Generation.