Counties to benefit from Sh433m clean energy plans

Martin Andersen, the Head of Infrastructure EU, Energy, CoG Transport and Infrastructure Committee Chair John Lonyangapuo with other senior officials in a group photo after the launch. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

The Ministry of Energy and the European Union have launched a programme to empower counties to meet their energy production provision needs.

The Institutional Capacity Development to the Energy Sector in Kenya (SETA) initiative is geared towards assisting up to 20 counties including Meru to finalise their energy plans and implement up to 15 renewable energy projects.

Speaking in Meru during a meeting with county government officials and private sector actors Kula Hache, on behalf of the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Dr Gordon O. Kihalangwa said the project was started to address the energy sector capacity gaps.

The plan is in the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Action Agenda (2016), designed to promote energy access, renewable energy and efficiency for an efficient, climate and environmentally friendly energy services are accessible for all.

Meru plans to complete a wind power project in the vast Nyambene area in northern Meru expected to generate 80 Megawatts (MW) for households and support the local economy.

The project was designed to consist of wind, solar and battery storage and provide clean power to the grid.

Ms Hache while thanking the support extended by the EU to the Ministry of for implementing the Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance to the tune of Sh433 million, asked counties to put efforts into completing their energy plans in order to benefit.

“I would like to call upon the counties to take seriously the process of preparing the energy plans as they are critical instruments for accessing resources from The National Treasury as well as development partners,” she stated.

Council of Governors Energy, Transport and Infrastructure chairperson John Lonyagapuo said devolved units had continued to undertake their planning responsibilities including physical planning relating to energy resources and provision of land for energy infrastructure.

“It is my hope that the project will enable Counties to come up with realistic energy plans as envisaged in the Energy Act,” Prof Lonyangapuo, the governor of West Pokot, said.

He expressed confidence that the EU project will be a success.

 “The desire of the CoG is that the Ministry will continue to support counties through other initiatives in the energy sector that are geared towards responding to the needs of the citizen,” he said.