The Council of Governors (COG) has said that the adoption of renewable energy is the only way to reduce the cost of electricity and woo investors who will help the country industrialise.
The Chairman of the Energy Committee at the COG, Jackson Mandago, said that the cost of electricity in the country which stands at 14 US cents is very expensive and it needs to come down to below 10 US cents in order to attract investors.
Mandago while speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) yesterday when he officially opened one week training on renewable energy for County Executives-In-Charge of Energy said that counties can easily help the country achieve the quest for reducing the cost of energy.
“We are not only looking at reducing the cost of energy we are also looking at how to make our environment clean and free from the carbon emissions which are leading to global warming,” explained Mandago, insisting that if this is not done the country is staring at starvation.
Mandago who is also the Governor of Uasin Gishu County said that if the country continues to use the traditional forms of energy including charcoal and firewood then we are staring at starvation as we persist to deplete our forests which are our water towers.
“In most parts of this country people are farming and largely involved in livestock keeping, this is a large potential for this country to produce bio-gas and stop this business of waiting for charcoal that has been smuggled from Baringo or Wajir,” he said.
He explained that one of the things that is causing fighting between communities along the boundaries of Mandera and Somalia is charcoal, fighting for energy.
“For how long as a country are we going to complain of the Dandora dumpsite, as we discuss about energy we should be implementing the proposals of turning the dumpsite into an energy production hub and this is a challenge to all the big town in the country including Nairobi,” Mandago added.
The Vice Chancellor (VC) JKUAT, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, said that as a University that specializes in technology, they are working with counties to build capacity of their staff so that they can be able to take up the renewable energy projects.
“We have the bright light project which is doing research on renewable energy and have come up with a project of producing bio-gas using water hyacinth which has been a nuisance to the people living around lake Victoria,” explained Imbuga.
She went on to advise that with only two cows, a farmer can also produce biogas which is enough for his house hold and can be shared with neighbours.
“We are saying that these things are doable so let us support the County Governments and the Universities to come up with innovations to drive us towards Vision 2030,” she said.
The training is being funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Program (UNIDO).