SPHB Policy Advisory Committee was convened by the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI) in collaboration with Strathmore University, the University of Nairobi (Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation and Condensed Matter Research Group), KIRDI, NuPEA and KenGen. The advisory committee chaired by Strathmore University through SERC is aimed at fulfilling three main objectives:
- Explore ways of encouraging households to embrace solar for own use and to sell excess to government through net metering policy.
- Explore ways of utilizing as much local content and materials as possible in execution of the solar projects.
- Explore ways of empowering small businesses and jua kali sector to plug in offering simple solutions and consuming the same.
In this regard, the Advisory committee funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa and the Newton Fund through the British Council through GENS project hosted the Energy Policy and Innovation in Kenya workshop in which thirty participants both locally and internationally took part on 24th November, 2020. This workshop was to allow various stakeholders in the government, industry, and academia to discuss pathways towards a strategic, market-focused, user-oriented policy that will fast track the adoption of solar energy by households and businesses in Kenya.
The key objectives of the workshop were to present findings from the benchmarking exercise; present the framework for stakeholder consultation in the Solar PV industry in Kenya; discuss challenges that hamper the growth of the Solar PV market for households and business in Kenya; and discuss the incentives and support systems that would promote innovation and the uptake of Solar PV technologies at the household, business, county, and national levels.
During the consultative sessions, participants were divided into five groups to discuss the questionnaire for different groups: houses, business (SMEs), learning institutions and independent research organizations, policy makers from the government and the private sector, and mini grid developers and financial institutions. Some of the feedback during this session included: how to understand the pricing model of solar material. One group suggested using mystery shopping to collect information as the use of solar energy is a business for most and therefore getting information on pricing can be difficult. Additionally, another group suggested that the questionnaire should be customized for different companies within the supply chain to have a complete overview of the market.
“There is a high penetration in the country by company names but there are only a few big multinational companies that dominate the market.” said one participant “which is where I would like to end”. Where in the supply chain do you see yourself participating in the journey to renewable energy at the house-hold, business, county and national level?
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This article was compiled by Anne Njeri Njoroge.
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