While the world is fighting for zero-carbon neutrality, Africa’s—and Kenya’s—struggle to achieve a zero-carbon footprint is being met with foreign challenges and local corruption.
Experts have lauded the government’s plan to shift Kenya’s energy to purely clean energy by 2030.
In October 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta told attendees of the COP26 summit that the country would achieve the milestone, seeing that it was more than half-way there already.
“Renewable energy in Kenya currently accounts for 73 per cent of the installed power generation capacity, while 90 per cent of the electricity in use is from clean sources,” he told attendees, among them US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “We are on course to achieve our target of 100 per cent use of clean energy by 2030 and to achieve 100 per cent access to clean cooking by 2028,” Kenyatta said.
The Exchange Africa sought the views of a sustainability expert in the industry.
Metrocart Kenya, an engineering company that offers renewable energy solutions told The Exchange Africa that Kenya had the potential of fulfilling the commitment made by President Kenyatta.
“Kenya has the capacity of transforming into a clean energy country, especially because it has not completed its intentions of ensuring access to power to all citizens,” Metrocart CEO David Kariuki said.
Demand for electricity climbs
Kariuki noted that the government could strive to install clean energy to places that are still without any sort of connectivity.
“The government has the right opportunity of doing this the right way,” he said.
His sentiments come when the demand for electricity in Kenya has sky rocketed, pushed by recovery in business activities in the country.
In early December, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN) revealed that the country’s demand for electricity had continued to grow at an average rate of 4.5 per cent.
The government-backed electricity generator also revealed that the country had scaled up use of renewable sources further boosting Kenya’s standing in the fight against climate change.
KENGEN Board Chairman, Samson
“We are glad to note that in the past two years under review, despite experiencing the challenging operating environment owing to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we recorded progress as a country,” he said.
Challenges facing the energy sector
Kariuki however cautions that despite the sector’s massive potential, it has a long way to go to achieve any meaningful success. According to him, the sector is dragged down by several challenges, which include flooding of counterfeit products, lack of standard policies and lack of proper knowledge on matters renewable energy. Kariuki says that the sector lack