Government moves to stop use of solar energy

FYI

From: kictanet [mailto:kictanet-bounces+changwony=crecokenya.org@lists.kictanet.or.ke] On Behalf Of Keith Andere via kictanet
Sent: Monday, 30 November 2020 19:46
To: changwony@crecokenya.org
Cc: Keith Andere <kephand@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Government moves to stop use of solar energy

Mwenda,

Energy and particularly sustainable energy remains a very critical factor in the recovery of economies post covid19, as well as the development of the world. This is anchored on the goal 7 of the SDGs.

As we speak of regulation, I recognise that there has been some tremendous innovation around renewable energy. Solar power has since moved from unified systems but is modular. In the sense power is generated at the end use point. Think about IoT Sensors on the farms or the success story MKopa solar lights that are now powering home-learning village editions. Gaps that main grid electricity cannot address without additional infrastructure.

Solar systems, installations and backup solutions have been in existence, looking at the existing regulations and certifications by kebs currently by KEBS would be a good place to start.

The find that the adoption is moving fast towards plug and play solar powered devices, eg. CCTV, alarms, radio and mobile chargers, or the solar powered COVID19 Sanitizing stations. It is because of the same energy costs and reliability that makes manufacturing of these products and others very expensive, pushing away investors to neighbouring countries.

Kenya boasts as being one of the leading countries in the world in production of renewable energy and really lobbied for the adoption of COP21 Agreement in France, Just this year the President made a pronouncement to have solar energy harvest on a farm in Nakuru to be sold to the main grid.

Creating many bottlenecks for innovation around technical skills compounds an already bulging problem. That of job creations and skill development.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 1:41 PM Mwendwa Kivuva via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

Great conversations here.

If we were to engage The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), what would be our recommendations?

We cannot escape regulations on the energy sector. Perhaps a good start would be to put less barriers. For example, if I am qualified as a solar technician, why punish me with exorbitant licenses instead of supporting me to help connect more households and businesses to the grid? The benefits for the government where electricity is inexpensive far outway the stifling measures EPRA is recommending. Such benefits include less funding to the grid by the public, more tax revenue from more industries and businesses established, better educated population (electricity is now an important component for education), … The spiral effect of affordable energy would touch every sector of our economy

I

______________________
Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya
www.linkedin.com/in/mwendwa-kivuva

On Mon, 30 Nov 2020 at 09:24, Kelvin Kariuki via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

I cannot overemphasize what Barrack and Keith have stated above. I teach online classes at a public university and I have observed, together with some colleagues, that we get a slightly less than 50% turnout per session with students claiming challenges ranging from:
1. Lack of Device

2. Lack of Electricity

3. Power Loss

4. Lack of Network/Internet Connection

A sustainable digital economy can only be powered with green energy! With striffling green energy, we will continue to struggle to give life to the futuristic “Silicon Savannah”!

On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 6:42 AM Beryl Aidi via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

This is hardly surprising after Kenya Power recently raised alarm over the rising switch to solar energy according to this report. www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/corporate/companies/kenya-power-raises-alarm-over-clients-solar-switch–3204410

While the growth of the sector is good given the advantages of solar energy and even the fact that Kenya is right on the Equator so we get a good amount of solar exposure, some regulation is necessary to ensure safety standards. However it is appalling that the proposed measures are stifling and seem geared toward keeping the monopoly of KPLC. It’s a shame and really uncalled for, if not absolutely absurd given the inefficiency of KPLC. The government should be encouraging growth in the energy sector rather than stifling it.

Beryl Aidi

On Sun, Nov 29, 2020 at 10:58 PM Keith Andere via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

Listers,

I do agree with you Barrack that the time is ripe. During Kenya IGF as well as the recently concluded African IGF, Unreliable/Expensive/unconnected Electricity at last mile came out as a consistent enabler for powering digital inclusion and by extension digital transformation.

This therefore, is an opportunity to move forward with speed.

Regards

Keith.

On Sun, 29 Nov 2020 at 20:22, Barrack Otieno via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

Flipping the coin and looking at the role Solar can play in powering Community Networks, looks like an opportunity is ripe for engaging EPRA, Senate and Parliament. This is a key infrastructure issue that can affect the cost of deploying critical infrastructure <mailto:kivuva@kictanet.or.ke> @Mwendwa Kivuva

Regards

On Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 11:43 am John R. Gicharu via kictanet, <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

The chances are that if nobody rigorously campaigns/ lobbies against these regulations, parliament will pass them as gazzetted by EPRA.

Regards, John Gicharu

On Sunday, November 29, 2020, 08:20:45 AM GMT+3, John Kariuki via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke <mailto:kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> > wrote:

There is no technical or legal Justification for discriminating one electrical technician from another. The regulations should therefore not be substantially different from the existing ones. I am not aware of any university which trains technicians per se. That requirement is therefore superfluous. Fortunately, regulations these days require approval of Parliament and these ones should be considered “dead on arrival”.

John Kariuki

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On Sun, Nov 29, 2020 at 0:14, Alice Munyua via kictanet

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