Kenya renewable energy sector draws British investment

gregbarker Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeKenya's renewable energy sector has attracted the interests of 20 British companies eager to invest in the industry, according to a UK government ministry

UK minister of state, department of energy and climate change, Greg Barker, recently led a delegation of UK’s renewable energy developers, financial service firms and insurance industry players to Kenya seeking to partner in low-carbon growth in the region.

Barker said, with Africa’s largest wind farm in the Lake Turkana region already set for completion in 2014, Kenya has set out on a clear path for growth of it renewable energy sector and achieving of its Vision 2030.

“The country has got probably the world’s largest single source for geothermal energy in the Rift Valley. There are companies from Britain that are ready to participate in harnessing the same,” he said.

Kenya’s geothermal industry, he added, has the capacity to produce enough energy to power its own and its neighbouring countrys’ needs.

Kenya permanent secretary of energy, Patrick Nyoike, said, “Under Vision 2030, Kenya aims to generate 5,000MW of low-carbon energy from geothermal resources at an estimated cost of US$20mn. This would only be achieved within a reasonable time frame with private sector participation.”

KenGen has already been working on 560MW power plants at Olkaria for commissioning in 2015-2018, while the Geothermal Development Company has been developing a 1,600MW plant at Menengai and a 3,000MW plant at Bogoria-Silali Block.

The UK government has also committed US$4.5bn to fight climate change in what it termed as "developing economies".

Barker said, “We want to use that US$4.5bn and private sector funding to identify opportunities in developing economies that promote renewable energy and climate adaptation projects. We think Kenya is one of the best places to start.”

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