To promote the development of green energy projects in developing countries, British firms are looking for investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector of Kenya. Around 20 British companies are looking to invest and develop in Kenya’s nascent renewable energy sector.
A meeting was held in Nairobi this week between the investors, led by British Energy Minister Greg Barker and Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga, to discuss the country’s production potential, which largely remains unexploited so far.
Addressing investors during the meeting, Odinga said: “(Our) nation declared to go green three years ago but was yet to exhaust energy production from hydro, wind, solar and geothermal to bridge the power deficit in the country.”
“We are concerned about the cost of energy because we appear less attractive for industrial ventures compared to our competitors like South Africa and Egypt,” Odinga said.
Barker says that, with Africa’s largest wind farm in the Lake Turkana region already in the works and set for completion in 2014, Kenya has set out a clear path for its growth in Vision 2030.
“You’ve got probably the world’s largest single source for geothermal in the Rift Valley. There are companies from Britain that are ready to participate,” he said.
According to Barker, Kenya’s geothermal industry has the capacity to produce enough energy to power its own and its neighbour’s needs. The estimated potential of geothermal energy is about 10,000 MW, with development cost of around $4 million per MW.
“This would only be achieved within a reasonable time frame with private sector participation. Under Vision 2030 Kenya aims to generate 5,000 MW of low-carbon energy from geothermal resources at an estimated cost of $20 million (Sh1.7 billion),” Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike said during a network event hosting the British firms.
Kenya is heavily dependent on hydro power and currently only 30% of the population is supplied with electricity. Development of renewable energy is imperative in Kenya to meet the growing demand in energy and to reduce import expenditures on crude oil and other petroleum products.
The views presented in the above article are author’s personal views only
Mridul Chadha currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.