Glasgow, Scotland

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) MD and CEO Rebecca Miano says the firm is accelerating deployment of renewable energy to combat adverse effects of climate change.

Miano says Kengen is at the forefront in fighting climate change and supporting Kenya government’s ambition to achieve 100 per cent utilization of renewable energy by 2030.

The Kengen boss was speaking during a question and answer session of the World Leaders Summit (WLS) at the ongoing COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

“KenGen has adopted a green energy strategy in expanding its generation. In 2020/2021, 97 per cent of KenGen’s energy sales was from renewable sources. This plays a critical role in moving Kenya towards a green economy,” she said during the session.

She further committed to the Caring for Climate Working Group of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in a bid to refocus the company’s business towards sustainability.

KenGen joined UNGC’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C Campaign saying it is banking its future on green affordable and accessible energy including geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar.

“The projects are expected to be completed between now and 2024 and will add about 360MW of renewable energy to Kenya’s national power grid,” said Miano.

The Kengen boss said the company is enhancing its partnership with other key actors to make clean technologies the most affordable, attractive and accessible option for users.

“There is an urgent need to focus on renewable energy to meet our energy needs. AfDB estimates Africa’s electricity access rate at about 40% with over 645 million people with no access to electricity.

“Indeed, the biggest limiting factor to green energy project development is funding which therefore calls for us to seek innovative financing models to help close the gap.”

She said KenGen had also partnered with Non-State Actors including Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and raised funds for green energy projects through Public Infrastructure Bond Offer and Rights Issue among other financial instruments.

Miano added that the firm is working with development partners and technology providers to deliver electricity in the most affordable, accessible, and attractive manner to Kenyans.

She intimated that KenGen has partnered with other African nations especially in the Horn of Africa to accelerate use of renewable energy through developing geothermal resources.

KenGen is leading in Greening Africa through geothermal drilling consultancy services in Ethiopia and Djibouti among others added to capacity building and geoscientific feasibilities for Rwanda, Comoros and Malawi.

 “I am happy to confirm that we are ready and willing to share our expertise and skills in accelerating clean energy innovation deployment more so in geothermal development,” Miano intimated.

She added, “Indeed, in Africa we have a golden chance to go green early enough when the opportunity for growth is still rife. Through partnerships, which is SDG 17, we make the world habitat a better place for present and future generations.”

Former US Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate Steven Chu added: “As the saying goes, the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones; but we transitioned to better solutions. The same opportunity lies before us with energy efficiency and clean Energy.”

KenGen PLC is East Africa’s largest electricity producer and among the top 10 geothermal energy producers in the world.

It has an installed capacity of 1,818MW, with 86 per cent coming from renewable and clean energy sources; Hydro (45 per cent), geothermal (39 per cent) and wind (2 per cent) and Thermal (14 per cent).