Home News Kenya Kenyan green energy firms in booming business

Kenyan green energy firms in booming business

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The prevalent high energy costs in the Kenya today have remained a concern for everyone from the Government, the private sector, to the average Kenyan on the street.
 A weak, almost crippled, national energy supply line that is perennially at the mercy of natural factors has continually for over a decade now led to the recurrent high energy costs with no foreseeable end in sight putting at risk the economic expansion of East Africa's largest economy.
 In a bid to cope with the high energy costs, renewable energy is quickly proving to be one of the better options across the country due to the availability of the natural resources needed for renewable power.
 This unprecedented craze and appetite and for renewable energy has caught on among real estate developers and Kenyan home owners too are rushing to embrace solar energy in a spirited bid to cut on the high energy costs.
 According to Ms Emmah Kariuki of Solar World East Africa limited, a Kenyan firm which deals with selling and installing solar systems and equipment ranging from water heating systems and lighting systems, most Kenyan home owners are embracing green energy.
 "Most home owners want to go green. Most people want to do away with electricity bills as far as domestic duties such as water heating is concerned," she says.
 Ms Kariuki notes that in contrast with the situation in the country several years ago where many people were not conscious about going green the situation has changed in the last five years.
 "People are embracing the idea. Most people like the idea of saving on energy by going green. And business for us therefore is doing fine," she says.She adds that a government legislation requiring that each upcoming property developer install as a mandatory feature for homes, solar powered water heating systems, has accelerated the embrace of the renewable energy for real estate developers. The Kenyan government has in a bid to deal with the enormous energy challenges re-evaluated its power policies and is now encouraging the use of renewable energy for both industrial and domestic use. In line with this, it has zero rated taxes on solar power equipment.
 Besides servicing homeowners in upmarket estates, Solar World East Africa Ltd has done installations for newly built real estate developments such as Tamarind, Greenspan in Dohnholm, Nairobi among others.   "Home owners in Karen, Runda, Kileleshwa, Lavington are also really embracing the systems," she says of the upmarket estates in Nairobi.
 Michael Mureithi a sales executive at green energy Kenyan firm, Kenital Solar concurs that many more property developers are keen on going green.
 Kenital Solar deals in wind energy equipment, solar panel systems for lighting, water heating systems and solar powered borehole pumps.
 "Those greatly interested in solar systems include private developers, homeowners, Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's) as well as big companies. Everybody now is going green," he says.  Mr. Kariuki points out that heating water using solar energy saves a home owner an estimated 70 percent of their power bills.
 Solar water heating at the same time has less maintenance costs and are therefore a more preferred option to the traditional source of energy which is marked by high monthly electricity bills.
 "Most developers nowadays are keen on acquiring solar powered systems, including hot water systems and power back ups," Mr Mureithi says.
 Ms Kariuki is however quick to add that the rise of green energy use among Kenyan home owners and developers cannot solely be attributed to its attendant low costs but rather a conscious lifestyle choice since most of the people procuring the systems can afford the traditional sources of energy.
 "It's not really about price because they can really afford electricity, (from the national grid). They really want to go green. They want to use a natural kind of heating. For most of them I cannot say that it is a matter of saving but embracing being green as well," she says.  The price of an average solar powered water heater which can serve a basic family of 3 to 4 people comprising say a mother, father and  2 to 3 kids according to Ms Kariuki goes for Ksh 85,000, inclusive of installation.
 A relatively bigger water heating system serving up to 9-10 people goes for Ksh 300,000 and above.  Kenya currently has an installed energy capacity of about 1,300 MW against a demand of about 1,100 MW with more than 60 percent of energy generated coming from hydro.   To help spur its development, the Government is not only offering incentives to companies to invest in renewable energy production, but it is also leading the way in a planned $8 billion capital injection into renewable energy generation.
Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Garfield, June 07, 2011
It's really cool to see everyone around the world moving forward with green energy projects of their own. I think it's awesome when everyone pitches in!
written by eden, September 05, 2011
Geen energy is the future enegry. It is good for economic and enviroment.
Thank you for post

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