The 100% Renewables Cities & Regions Roadmap project (or 100% RE) project has officially kicked off in Kenya! This global initiative supports national and local level governments to promote a move towards 100% renewable energy strategies in Kenya, Indonesia and Argentina. The 100% RE project works with cities (counties in Kenya’s context) and regions in these focus countries to build a path for cities to finance and implement renewable energy projects, through the assessment of local renewable energy potential and project concepts, as well as the development of financeable projects.
As part of the project inception from mid-2019, ICLEI Africa had discussions with various stakeholders from the public and private sectors, development partners and civil society to understand the national energy landscape and the role of counties in it.Through approval and endorsement by National Ministries, in particular the Ministry of Energy (MoE), three County Governments in Kenya were selected to participate in the project: Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru.
Of the three selected Counties; the County Government of Kisumu is the ‘deep dive / pilot’ while the County Governments of Mombasa and Nakuru are the ‘network’ counties. The Kisumu County as the deep dive will receive focused attention; particularly on capacity building, development of a roadmap to identify pathways for expanding its renewable energy generation, and promotion of renewable energy policies and related strategies; with the goal of meeting all local energy demands in households and industry through renewables. The two network counties will benefit from project engagement, including experience sharing, capacity building, peer-learning and policy dialogue and recommendations.
All three counties are part of the Covenant of Mayors Sub-Saharan Africa (CoMSSA) program. This alignment will provide the opportunity for synergies with the 100% RE project and offer an in-depth exploration of renewable energy and improvement of sustainable energy access and climate action planning.
Overview of Kisumu County’s renewable energy status
While the Kisumu County generates a significant amount of electricity largely through renewable sources, which could be enough to meet its local needs, much of the electricity is shared with the rest of the country to meet national demands. Furthermore, Kisumu County still faces numerous financial, infrastructural and institutional barriers, which lead to a number of challenges including: uneven power distribution, high connection charges and high costs of supplying electricity to rural and peri-urban households. As such the 100% RE project will provide the county with the opportunity to find pathways for addressing these challenges, and in the process identify how energy needs can be met within the county. Moreover, this project aims to contribute to national objectives, outlined in Kenya’s Vision 2030, Climate Change Act 2016, Energy Policy 2018 and Energy Act 2019, amongst others.
100% RE project inception and progress at county level
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there were delays on the project’s delivery and change of mode from planned in-person to virtual engagements, as such, the County Government of Kisumu’s kick-off meeting for the 100% RE Project was held virtually in June. The kick-off meeting was opened the Minister for Energy and Industrialisation, Mr. Nerry Achar, and a message of support was delivered by the Principal Renewable Energy Officer, Renewable Energy Directorate, at Ministry of Energy, Eng. Edwin Omwenga. In attendance were the county technical staff from various departments, representatives from development partners, private sector, civil society and academia. The kick-off meeting provided a platform for an overview of Kisumu County’s energy status and readiness for implementation of energy policy and legislative. A key outcome was the initiation of the Project Implementation Team (PIT), the purpose of which will be to provide advice on the priorities, strategic direction and implementation of actions to promote the 100%RE project and associated impacts.