Taita Taveta dream for sustainable energy gets a boost

Taita Taveta has on paper, a roadmap to develop sustainable energy innovations to provide affordable and reliable energy to thousands of residents who when the sun sets are left to brave the darkness with handheld torches and kerosene lamps.

On Tuesday, that dream for sustainable energy was thrust into reality, following the visit to the county’s headquarters by technocrats from the Ministry of Energy in the company of key players in the country’s energy space.

Receiving the delegation drawn from Kenya Power Company (KPLC), Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), among others; the county’s deputy governor Majala Mlagui welcomed and applauded the timing of the visit.

The deputy governor said that the county was at a policy stage to incorporate the agenda of sustainable energy into the development blueprint of the county, and they welcomed partners to make the dream a reality.

“Your timing for the visit is terrific as we’re at a crucial policy formulation phase that would need guidance and input from industry heavyweights like you. We’re looking for partnership from the national government and international partners to make the sustainable energy dream a reality,” stated Mlagui.

The visiting team is under the umbrella of Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (SETA), a national government initiative in partnership with the European Union (EU) through the Ministry of Energy, with the mandate to guide and provide technical help to all counties’ sustainable energy plans.

First and foremost, SETA is the pacesetter in capacity development to the devolved units in the spheres of identification, planning, and implementation of renewable energy policies and projects to buoy access, reliability, and affordability of the crucial resource.

Globally, Kenya is a member of 84 nations that have signed up for a national plan to hit a universal access target of sustainable energy by 2030.

The national government has shown its commitment to the initiative through the development and continuous implementation of two key policies: an action agenda and an investment prospectus.

Both documents have guided the government in setting goals and prioritizing resources and forging partnerships geared toward achieving universal access to renewable energy right from the grassroots.

In the last few years, Kenya has made huge strides in electricity access from merely 2.3 million connections in 2013 to a whopping 8.2 million by the end of the first quarter of 2021, with the national access index clocking an impressive 75 percent.

However, despite Kenya’s national grid connections drawing power from renewable sources in geothermal and hydropower, it is only a meagre proportion of the country’s sustainable power generation potential.

The national action plan is now finding its way down to the counties, a strategy that could propel the country to a continental pacemaker in the renewable energy space.


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