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Kenya is a country with growing economic might in East Africa. And it's looking to power that expansion by turning to new sources of energy. More than 60 percent of Kenya's energy is still generated by hydro-electric power stations. But that looks set to change, as the country begins to explore additional energy sources. CCTV reporter Eric Njoka goes in search of some geothermal and wind power projects, in an African country on the rise.
It has taken a serious power crisis for governments in Africa to realize the benefits of green energy development. In Kenya, greening its economy is not only a government policy, but also an opportunity to develop new technologies, create green jobs and promote eco-friendly economic growth. But with the erratic fuel prices and a rising cost of living, the pace of progress has been greatly hampered.
|Kenya is a country with growing economic might in East Africa. And it's looking to |
power that expansion by turning to new sources of energy.
Renewable energy is now proving to be attractive, due to its low cost and availability. Take for example, Wind power generation, which the Kenyan government is betting big on. Already, KENGEN, Kenya's power producing company, has set up a 5.1 megawatt wind farm in Ngong Hills, in the southern outskirts of Nairobi. The company is now encouraging other private companies to set up similar farms to generate their own power
Eddie Njoroge, KENGEN Managing Director, said, "We are doing feasibility studies for 100 megawatts and another 50 megawatts in northern Kenya by 2018 we should be having a total of 50 per cent of our total energy from renewable."
In agriculture, Kenya is not only winning critical acclaim for its famed black tea, but its green tea processing is also gaining recognition
Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Rwanda together produce 28 per cent of the world's tea, tea is energy intensive, although in parts of east Africa power is not only expensive but also unreliable, farmers are forced to install power generators to meet their needs, but now all that is changing.
|Kenya is a country with growing economic might in East Africa. And it's|
looking to power that expansion by turning to new sources of energy.
Lerionka Tiampati, Director of Kenya Tea Development Agency, said, "In our own small way we believe that by generating our small hydro power we are contributing to generation of green energy. It is a new business line in the sense that we are able to produce sufficient power for our factories and then sell it to the grid and gain carbon credits."
KTDA is hoping to invest up to 53million US dollars for small hydropower production in 10 regions in Kenya's eastern province, in the coming years.
Being the first private company to invest in small hydropower, competition with other players in the tea business is paramount in strengthening its power base. The government is already accelerating the development of green energy and calculating its carbon credits through energy innovations, which have to pass for the final vetting by Kenya's National environment management authority, NEMA.
Malwa Langwen, Nema Director, said, "All investment get authorization, exploitation is likely to have impact on environment, all these projects are subjected to impact assessment, we are facilitating the investment as an authority."
Besides wind and hydro energy, the Kenyan government would like to see the development of power from geothermal, solar, biogas and biomass sources, to reduce foreign expenditure on crude oil imports.