NAIROBI, KENYA: The government has challenged its partners to promote local manufacturing of renewable energy products instead of focusing on their importation.
The director of renewable energy at the ministry of energy, Dan Marangu reaffirmed the state’s commitment to reduce the use of fossil fuels by embracing renewables within the national energy mix of which electricity mix was about 90 per cent renewable.
“The most submissions as far as Paris Agreement was concerned were largely dependent on renewables as evident in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) update process that was on-going at the moment.
“Stakeholders need to interact with the draft bio-energy strategy that is out within the public domain and submit comments to the Ministry of Energy.”
Elaborating part of the on-going government commitments to implement the Sustainable Energy for All Action Agenda, he pointed out the importance of Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) in powering agriculture, pumping water and lighting public institutions.
He noted that the rollout of the Energy Act.2019 was on course and that the biogas sector was targeting to install 2 million units, which at the time of meeting was barely 30,000 units.
He made the remarks at a roundtable meeting between the ministry of environment and forestry, non-state actors to discuss findings of research consultancy on the global flow of climate finance towards decentralized renewable energy.
The one-day event was held courtesy of financial support from Hivos East Africa under the Green and Inclusive Energy program.
The meeting was convened for sharing findings of the research consultancy that was commissioned by Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG) through funding from Hivos in November 2019 regarding the global flow of climate finance towards decentralised renewable energy systems.
John Kioli, chairman KCCWG reiterated the importance of finance under the Paris Agreement, Article 2(1)c as critical while emphasising that energy is a key element in realisation of the agreement.
He informed participants that the climate change Act.2016 has essential provisions including the climate change fund whose purpose is to support the implementation of adaptation and mitigation projects in the country.
“There is a need for developed countries to live to the commitment of supporting developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” he said underscoring need to enhance capacity, especially at county government level to deliver on climate change matters.
Wilkister Akinyi, Project Officer- Energy and Climate Change at Hivos East Africa recognised the mutual cooperation that has existed between KCCWG and Hivos in addressing climate change and energy projects.
She emphasized the urgent need to focus on last-mile energy access integrating gender dimensions. Hivos was at the time of meeting implementing the project with six partners in Kenya and four in Tanzania. She pointed out that advocacy and lobby towards climate change and inclusive energy policies and legislation at the county level is critical.
She informed participants that Hivos commissioned a study that was yet to be concluded and aims at understanding how local players are organising themselves within the renewable energy mix while addressing the capacity gap.
Other speakers during the meeting included Augustine Kenduiwo, Deputy Director, Climate Change Directorate at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry who underscored that climate change was not only an environmental challenge but also a developmental one.
He indicated that Kenya’s economy is heavily reliant on climate-sensitive sectors hence there is an urgent need to prioritise climate change financing at all levels of governance.
While alluding to sentiments by previous speakers, he took cognizance of the fact that Kenya has a wealth of policies and strategies but these are not translating into impact.
He pondered on the need to make solar products available and accessible to communities. He emphasized the need to transition the systems by financially incentivizing locals to enhance accessibility and affordability. He was quick to note the critical role played by women in delivering energy services.