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Kenya makes progress in energy efficiency

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Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history. Image credit: Worley

20 September 2020 – Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency. Last week, the Kenyan Government, through the Ministry of Energy (MOE) last week launched the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (KNEECS) placing Kenya firmly on track toward sustainable consumption and production including renewable energy generation.

KNEECS was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

To date, Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency and conservation. In 2006, MOE and KAM signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). Its activities include undertaking energy audits of industries, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and public institutions on behalf of MOE, provision of capacity-building in energy efficiency and conservation, public education and awareness activities and administration of the annual Energy Management Awards (EMA). CEEC has achieved over KES 13-billion (USD152.8- million) in energy cost saving equivalent to 2014.8 GWh, translating into a deferment of a 230 MW power plant.

KNEECS now seeks to guide the country further towards achieving its established Energy Efficiency (EE) goals within a defined timeframe. These goals are reducing the national energy intensity by 2.8% per year, and enabling the country to achieve a 30% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 relative to Business as Usual (143 MtCO2e) and meet its national targets for Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by 2030.

Through the adoption of KNEECS, the country is expected to use less energy to produce goods and services without compromising on quality and quantity. Further, KNEECS will promote the use of technology that requires minimum energy to perform the same function and adoption of changes in behaviour that encourage citizens to use a reduced amount of energy in their daily undertakings.

The KNEECS strategy sets targets for five key sectors to achieve its objectives, all of which are to be accomplished within a five-year timeline up to 2025:  households, power utilities, transport, buildings and industry and agriculture. Under the household’s sector, energy efficiency in domestic power consumption is expected to increase by 3%. This will be realised by increasing the number of household appliances such as television sets, subjected to Minimum Energy Performable Standards (MEPS) from the current six to ten and increasing the use of improved efficient biomass cook stoves by 50% of all households currently using biomass cook stoves.

In the utilities sector, the strategy focuses on reducing transmission and distribution system losses from 23% to 15%. The KNEECS strategy recommends the installation of 1 MW of energy storage facilities, whereby a total KSH. 5-billion in investments will be required for implementation of energy conservation measures.

Furthermore, in the transport sector, improvement of fuel economy, increasing the share of electric vehicles to reach five per cent and raising the number of passengers using commuter trains from 116 000 to 150 000 per day are proposed. Similarly, the building sector has six targets while the industry and agriculture sector has two.

Alongside these sectoral targets, Kenya aspires to strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. All involved agencies will mobilise resources to improve access to finance for energy efficiency projects and accelerate actualisation of the strategy, particularly the Directorate of Renewable Energy and CEEC. Gender-focused and targeted approaches will be implemented for inclusive participation and benefit. Additionally, awareness creation, citizen engagement, training and capacity-building will be implemented. This strategy therefore calls for private and public sector players to mainstream energy efficiency and conservation in education by establishing a long-term mechanism to achieve a high level of government and public awareness on their importance. This will be accomplished by bolstering relationships and engagements among ministries, inter-ministerial forums, county governments, national governments and climate change units countrywide.

Ultimately, the KNEECS will contribute significantly to the essential areas outlined in the Big Four Agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management