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Kenya set for key role in renewable energy drive

Monday March 25 2013

By NATION REPORTER

Kenya could become a manufacturing hub for East Africa in the production of renewable technology components, a study shows.

The comprehensive study conducted by the World Future Council and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, shows that Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff policies (REFiT) are a promising mechanism to unlock renewable energy development in Africa.

The policies encourage investment in the generation of renewable energy — from individual home owners and communities as well as companies — by guaranteeing to buy all the electricity produced from renewable sources.

The report provides an in-depth analysis of existing and proposed renewable energy policies in 13 African countries: Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

The case studies examine the factors driving each policy and the socio-economic effects of renewable energy technologies as well as presenting prerequisites for their effective implementation.

Revitalise democracy

The study clearly shows that, when tailored to local conditions, REFiT policies successfully increase energy production of areas both on and off the electricity grid.

Moreover, the decentralised nature of these technologies provides the opportunity to revitalise local democracy and self-governance by allowing for alternative models of ownership and governance.

Mr Ansgar Kiene, director of WFC Africa, said at the launch of the report in South Africa at the weekend: “Kenya is one of the REFiT pioneers in Africa having already introduced this policy in 2008.”