The Use of Solar Energy in Kenya

Article by The Editor
Posted: September 13, 2017  

The Use of Solar Energy in Kenya

Kenya looks to be going full steam ahead with a large-scale uptake in solar energy infrastructure since the government has gone ahead with regulations to make solar-powered water heating systems mandatory for residential buildings. The drive comes in the wake of renewed efforts to champion clean energy.

There’s a broadly popular desire in Kenya to shift the country towards a green economy capable of sustainable development. The progress never stops, the website like emerge and the governments want to keep their countries clean, it’s only natural. Moving forward with such changes, the government is hoping to lower Kenya’s carbon dioxide emission by as much as 15% by the year 2030.

It’s an ideal time to begin implementing such changes in the midst of a growing demand for electricity and the stated aim of the government to have all of Kenya connected to the national power grid by the year 2020. This year will see the Energy Regulations Act of 2012 begin to come into force following a 5-year grace period. Any building that has a hot water requirement of more than 100 litres daily now has to have solar heating technology installed.

New Regulation
From May of this year, residential properties, schools, hospitals, hotels, laundries, and food and beverage establishments will need to have water heating systems in place. The ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) has made it clear that it intends to back up the new regulations, which, if successful, could make Kenya a regional leader in the adoption of cleaner energy sources.

Any failure to fall in line with the new regulations could see property developers risking as much as a year in prison and/or a $10,000 penalty fine. Buildings that don’t comply will also be barred access to the national power grid. These changes aren’t before time. East Africa is one of the best-suited regions to take advantage of solar energy, enjoying some of the highest rates of horizontal irradiation anywhere in the world.

Powering the Future
The average cost of installing one of these solar powered water heaters is estimated at $1,100 for a 3-bedroom house. Bigger public facilities would be looking at a price tag further up at the $10,000 mark. One of the biggest problems presented to property owners and businesses is the lack of personnel with sufficient expertise to install these systems, with less than 3,000 estimated to be in the country.

However, there are other incentives in place to keep the adoption of solar power an attractive proposition: there’s to be no import tax or value added tax on any and all renewable energy technologies which can only help spread the popularity of green energy sources. If progress can be maintained at this rate, Kenya looks certain to become a beacon to other countries in the region who are still weighing up whether or not to stake the future on renewable energy.

About the author

The Editor


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