The government is being urged to form awareness groups all over the country to popularise solar energy because it has the capacity of reducing electricity bills and protect the poor from the high cost of fuel energy.
The Chairman of Solar Awareness Group in Nakuru County Julius Mwaniki said many Kenyans do not realise that they would be saving money on their energy bills with solar panels. He was speaking during a solar awareness seminar at a Nakuru Hotel.
He commended the government for zero-rating the import duty and removal ofValue Added Tax (VAT) on renewable energy equipment and accessories since 2012 but noted that unfortunately, not many people were aware of that life-changing policy.
Mwaniki said despite there being a vibrant solar energy market for many years to provide electricity and instructions to homes which are in far-flung areas from the national grid, only the elite seemed to have grabbed the good opportunity.
He said their surveys had established that not many people were aware that once the panels have been paid for, they started reaping the rewards without any form of payments whatsoever.
He gave an example of community boreholes which were still using electricity and incurring unnecessary bills, instead of using solar.
He appealed to the governors and their executives to popularise solar energy since sunlight was in abundance in the country and it is one resource which has not been utilized fully to the benefit of development.
He gave an example of European countries, which were far away from the tropics, which have ensured that all homes are connected to solar energy, and they even pay those who generate more solar energy.
He added that African governments should be at the forefront to advocate for renewable energy because they do not have the capacity to handle adverse climate changes.
“We should be in the forefront to advocate for cars which use solar so that we free our poor populations from the ever-increasing fuel tariffs and the climate change hazards,’’ stated Mwaniki.
He added that their group was in the forefront of advocating for renewable energy sources, which included biomass, small hydro, geothermal, biogas, solar and waste energy, which have the potential of generating income and employment.