Energy and Petroleum CS Charles Keter addressing Participants at the 3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi.
The Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Mr Charles Keter has urged local and international investors to support Kenya’s programme towards universal access to electricity.
He said this should be done by investing in the country’s fast-growing and lucrative energy sector. “We want to produce 5,000 megawatts (MW) and ensure universal access to clean energy services by 2020. Private sector players should come on board to support this endeavor,” said Mr Keter.
He spoke while officially opening the 3rd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi last week.
The CS said energy was key pillar to economic growth and development of Kenya. “There has been exponential growth in Kenya since 2013, when connectivity was only 29 per cent. In three years, we have more than doubled our connected customers from 2.2 million to the current 5.05 million. We have essentially achieved in three years what we hard not achieved in 50 years,” said the CS.
Mr Keter hinted that close to 1,800 institutions had been supplied with solar PV systems with a combined installed capacity of 2.4MW at a cost of Ksh3 billion. By the end of June next year, more installations will take place in 100 more institutions, he added.
On power connectivity to schools, Mr Keter said 23,044 had been supplied with electricity in readiness for the take off of the Digital Literacy Programme. Of these, about 4,000 schools were connected to solar power.
The Director General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Mr Adnan Amin praised Kenya’s progress towards attaining affordable and clean energy for all its citizen, saying: “Access to electricity is a central building block for socio-economic development. It empowers communities to increase income and productivity, pain access to healthcare and education, enhance water and food security and improve general well-being.”
The third International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference brought together 500 participants across the globe to deliberate on ways to boost electricity access through the development of off-grid renewable energy sources. (By Moses Nyandika)