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Kenyans bet on solar energy

  Solar panels. [iStockphoto]

As the world moves towards renewable energy, Kenya has seen an increase in interest and adoption of renewable energy.

As a result, there has been an increase in the number of companies willing to invest in the country, as most people are turning to solar energy.

Global think-tank Ember, in its fifth Global Energy Review Report, showed that Kenya has surpassed the global rate of 13 per cent in solar energy adoption.

In Africa, the country is ranked third behind Senegal and Morocco and is cited as one of the countries in the world with suitable conditions for solar energy.

“Nonetheless, some major economies in the region (Africa) are far ahead of the global average of 13%, including Kenya, Senegal, and Morocco with each generate around a fifth (20%) of their electricity from solar and wind,” reads part of the report.

During the United Nations’ COP28 climate change conference held in December 2023, world leaders agreed to increase global renewable capacity thrice by 2030.

Meaning, 60 per cent of energy used globally will be renewable electricity.

To align themselves with the vision, companies have stepped up to showcase how solar energy can be adopted in the day to day life including farming.

At the just concluded Agri Tech Africa Expo that was being held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), exhibitors showcased ways of combining technology and farming.

Some 12 Italian companies under the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) were part of the exhibition where they were scouting for business opportunities.

Among them was Power Solutions which offers a wide range of solutions for electric vehicle charging, air conditioning and heating, solar thermal, cogeneration systems and industrial automation.

The company is looking to tap into Kenya’s quest for solar energy and reduce its dependence on electricity from the national grid.

Representatives from the 12 companies also met with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO).

The meeting explored various ways in which Italy can tap into Kenya's rich agricultural sector.

Some of the companies represented at the meeting include Silesfor DP, Sfoggia, Ocmis Irrigazione, Nardi-Harvesting, Muratori and Mecmar, Mascar and Irriland.

Others are Contro Fratelli, BCS Group, Alpego and ADR.

The Expo raised awareness of the need for mechanisation and technological innovation in the agricultural sector.

At the same time, it allowed potential farmers to learn about new agricultural technologies used in other parts of the world.

ITA also provides information, assistance, consulting, promotion, and training to small and medium-sized businesses.

“We can start to work together to find solutions to the machinery and equipment needs of Kenyan farmers,” said Giuseppe Manenti, ITA Director.

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