Mobilizing for Clean Solar Energy in Afric

Solar Africa, Image by The Next Web

Introduction

 Kenya positioned along the equator (East Africa) enjoys lengthy hours of sunshine making solar energy a more applicable choice for decision-makers to exploit. According to reports from Rural Electricity Authority (REA), it is expensive to generate electricity using diesel citing, an example from data collected in  2009 where 2% of the total billing mounting to 368,239 euros was spent on diesel (H Gichungi, 2018). Consequently, these not only simplest upload to carbon release into the atmosphere but also, the acquisition cost of diesel is driven to clients making it expensive for normal citizens to afford.

For this reason, the authorities of Kenya in conjunction with numerous stakeholders inclusive of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, industries, science, and academia has launched initiatives aiming at attaining a renewable-based energy system in anticipation to reap its 2030 vision in addition to accomplishing the millennial strategic goal.

 Main source of energy

Biomass is the principle source of energy in Kenya constituting about 68% of total energy in use (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2015). The authorities through its agency ‘Energy Regulation Commission,’ has laid down strategies aimed at meeting the rising demand smooth and affordable electricity as well as performance in strength intake which is consistent with its imaginative and prescient 2030 blueprint.

Garissa Solar Plant

Launched in November 2019, Garissa solar plant sits on 210 acres of land accommodating 200 solar panels; which is the largest solar plant in East and Central Africa with a capability to produce 54.6 megawatts (MW) of electricity. According to projections, full potential of this plant can energize about 625,000 houses in the Kenyan boundaries.

See also  The 28th Intersolar, 15-17th of May 2019, The World Leading Exhibition
Garissa Solar Plant on Map, Source: Wikipedia

Moreover, Garissa solar plant economically sells electricity wholesale to Kenya Power at KSh5.49 (0.054 USD) in step with unit after which it sells to the very last purchaser at KSh12 (US$0.12) in keeping with kilowatt-hour, approximately KSh8 less expensive than diesel-generated strength.

With the assistance of international bodies, more than 220 schools have been electrified using standalone solar panels with a total ability of 574.22 kW at a cost of 6.16  million Euros. Consequently, 10 million Euros has been furnished through Spain to impress 380 selected establishments with solar panels lighting planned at a value of Euros 0.27 million.

Renewable Energy Policy Formulation

In May 2018, Solar Water Heating law designed by Energy Regulation Commission got into effect and the regulation directed all premises with hot water demand of more than 100 liters in a day to have a sun water heater that could alternative up of 60% of the energy required. Owners of recent premises are obligated to install and use the water heater as owners of old premises are still in a grace duration of up to five years (to 2023) to conform with the law.

References

  • H Gichungi. (2018). Solar Potential in Kenya. Nairobi.
  • Institute of Economic Affairs. (2015). Situational Analysis of Energy Industry, Polic and Strategy for Kenya. Nairobi: Institute of Economic Affairs.