Ruto says Kenya to achieve clean cooking by 2028

President William Ruto, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris during the launch of Nairobi County School Feeding Programme, Roysambu Primary School. [PCS]

Kenya has set a target of achieving 100 per cent access to clean cooking by 2028 and clean energy by 2030 President William Ruto has said.

The President noted that currently renewable energy in Kenya accounts for 73 per cent of the installed power generation capacity representing 90 per cent in terms of utilisation.

Speaking during the 25th edition of African Energy Forum at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi, yesterday, Ruto attributed the success to various efforts undertaken to boost the renewable energy sector including setting up energy plants around the country.

"Access to clean cooking is an important national policy priority and a fundamental component of our bottom-up economic transformation agenda," he said.

The President revealed that a bio-energy strategy had been formulated to guide the process towards universal access to modern cooking energy and in 2021, an energy compact on clean cooking was prepared and submitted at the High-Level Dialogue on Energy.

"As part of implementing the compact, Kenya is launching an energy transition programme where all public institutions shall shift away from biomass cooking fuels to cleaner and sustainable options. At the same time, Kenya advocates the establishment of the International Day for Clean Cooking as a way of sustaining the momentum towards universal access to clean cooking," he said.

Ruto said Kenya has learnt from these developments that it is possible to achieve ambitious development goals while maintaining clean, green energy commitment.

"Energy is one of the fundamental enablers for the transformation agenda under the infrastructure component of our bottom-up economic transformation agenda," he said.

Dirty fuels thrive as investment in clean cooking falls short

He noted that Kenya was endowed with substantial renewable energy resources, which constitute a highly attractive investment profile including a proven wind energy potential of 30,000MW with 346W per square metre and speeds of over six metres per second.

"A wind resource atlas is available to show high value wind power prospects. The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, with a capacity of 310 MW is the largest in Africa. Average annual solar insolation estimated at 4-6 kilowatt-hours per square metre per day," he said.

The president observed that opportunities exist for off-grid and on-grid options and Kenya off-grid solar access project (KOSAP) is under implementation but covering 14 under-served counties.

He said that tremendous geothermal energy potential currently estimated at 10,000 MW, out of which less than 10 per cent (950 MW) has been exploited with Kenya being already the 6th largest global producer of geothermal power.

"6,000 MW of both large and small hydro-electricity potential, 300 MW of potential for co-generation in the sugar cane factories in Western Kenya, 29-131MW of biogas potential using various feedstocks. A 2 MW biogas power plant is already operational in Naivasha and is using flower waste," he said.

"Kenya is deeply committed to the agenda of the Africa Energy Forum. We have a wind power project in Lake Turkana which has a capacity of 310 MW and is the largest in Africa," he added.

Ruto said in the discourse about energy and climate change, it is impossible to be neutral, or disinterested and we can be part of the problem and at the same time contribute to its solution in varying ways.

He noted that Africa, with 16.7 per cent of world population, has historically been the world's smallest contributor to the problem, cumulatively emitting less than 2.9 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

The president said that Africa bears the disproportionate burden of the adverse impacts of climate change, including extreme weather phenomena whose devastating consequences range from drought and starvation to floods, landslides and water borne diseases as well as massive destruction of property, infrastructures and livelihoods.

"Moreover, Africa is home of the world's greatest concentration of people without access to efficient and ecologically sustainable energy, with 600 million people having no electricity and 900 million without clean cooking energy," he said.

Ruto noted that Africa as a continent was heavily endowed with clean, green and renewable energy resources as well as the essential minerals required by the global energy transition that humanity must undertake to avert a climate catastrophe.

Hence, the President said it was appropriate and ironic that Africa has remained a leading actor and voice in global climate action efforts.

"The 25th edition of the Africa Energy Forum, therefore, reminds us about the history, progress, achievements, vigour and consistency of Africa's commitment to developing a viable pathway towards energy access and effective climate action," he said

Decades ago, Ruto noted that Kenya boldly invested in the development of its renewable energy potential at a time when it was not fashionable to do so and the decision has paid off.

"Renewable sources form 73 per cent of our installed electricity generation capacity, accounting for over 90 per cent of electricity generated and distributed in the country," said Ruto.

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