The 100% Renewables Cities and Regions Roadmap ( 100% RE) project took another monumental step forward in November 2020, with the County developing their vision statement – To achieve universal access to reliable and affordable 100% RE for sustainable development in Kisumu County by 2050. This comes after a series of activities which have occurred since the kick-off in June 2020. As pointed out by the Chief Officer for the Department of Energy and Industrialization, Eng. Daniel Okia, “the project has realized several milestones since its inception in June 2020, which include: a signed Memorandum of Understanding by the County Executive Committee Member for Energy and Industrialization; a work plan; establishment of the Project Implementation Team; data collection and scenario modelling; development of the County energy status report; and a capacity building plan.”
These activities, in particular the rigorous energy data collection, were supported by a devoted 100% RE Project Implementation Team (PIT) and contributed to energy modelling which was led by Fraunhofer Institute for Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. The Visioning Workshop was attended by elected and technical officials across all Kisumu County departments as well as representatives from the Ministry of Energy, energy agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) all of whom participated in the development of a 100% RE vision statement for the County.
Systems Thinking for Kisumu’s renewable energy vision
The aim of the workshop was to develop a vision statement, raise awareness of the potential benefits of 100% RE, promote whole system thinking from an energy perspective, address barriers, enhance enablers and promote buy-in from relevant stakeholders. Experts in renewable energy policy development, systems thinking, energy modelling, development of vision statements and renewable energy roadmaps delivered insightful presentations which guided discussions of the workshop. The vision statement was developed in a consultative and participatory manner. There were group discussions to interrogate the County’s transition to 100% RE and a number of possible vision statements were proposed before the final one was agreed. This consultative process was important in order to ensure that the whole County and its stakeholders can take ownership of the vision statement.
Energy access is fundamentally linked to all the other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and therefore all departments within the County government. Contributions, unique perspectives and ideas from the over 30 participants from diverse backgrounds enabled the county to set a vision statement, applying a systems thinking approach, and build a foundation for the development of a 100% RE roadmap which is the next step in the project.
Kisumu’s Vision for the Future
To achieve universal access to reliable and affordable 100% RE for sustainable development in Kisumu County by 2050 – this vision statement will be an anchor or guide for the County. It sets a goal that the County aspires to achieve, and the Roadmap will outline the path to be followed for the County to reach 100% RE by 2050 and from which projects will be identified and proposals developed in order to source funding.
While the statement is simple, it is extremely powerful and bears a lot of responsibility for the County – a commitment to prioritise sustainable development and ensure energy security for all facets of society. It aligns and strengthens all the County’s departments and their direct or indirect involvement in renewable energy development, and it will guide the County as it delivers on its energy mandate with committed support from the Ministry of Energy.