Kenya bets on renewable energy to meet power needs

Nairobi, Kenya, March 19, 2012 — Renewable energy sources are expected to witness strong growth in Kenya over the next two decades, as an effort to fulfill the country's rapidly growing energy demand which is driven by economic growth.

In 2008, Kenya put a development plan called The Vision 2030 into place to ensure the growth of the national economy by focusing on its infrastructure sector.

Under the plan, the Kenyan Ministry of Energy has outlined the Least Cost Power Development Plan in 2011 to ensure the growth of the power industry in the country. The broad objective of the plan is to provide an adequate quality supply of energy that is cost effective and affordable, through use of indigenous energy resources with environment conservation ensured.

Fossil fuels for electricity generation are expensive in Kenya, and the country has substantial renewable energy potential to meet the future electricity demand, therefore the development plan primarily focuses on the use of renewable energy sources.

The country has geothermal potential of 7,000 MW-10,000 MW, and therefore this renewable source has been given strong focus in the developmental plan. Other renewable sources are also aimed to contribute substantially.

The government is encouraging private sector participation to fuel this growth, and foreign aid agencies are also funding renewable energy projects to ensure the growth of the Kenyan renewable energy sector.

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