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Kenya: Investing In Wind Energy

Power generation using fossil fuels is the major contributor of global warming in Kenya and the entire world.

Coal power plants have been on the rise lately with immense support from the government and the private sector.

Kenya has a high potential for wind power. It is a renewable energy source. It can regenerate.

We will never be afraid of its depletion. Investing in wind power as a key energy source in Kenya is a great step towards addressing global warming.

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While there is no any single technology that can be relied upon entirely to attain up to 80% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, several alternatives exist, wind power for that matter is critical.

Wind energy is clean, efficient and reliable, cost friendly and emits zero CO2, a global warming solution that is easy and fast to implement.

It is a good thing that the government of Kenya has committed to support establishment of wind power plants.

With an estimated target of 500MW of wind capacity installed by 2015 and a 2 GW of wind capacity installed by 2030, we may finally appreciate the significance of renewable sources as the main supply of energy.

Nevertheless, we are much far away from reaching the target. According to the Energy Regulatory Commission, Kenya has a wind power installed capacity of 5.1 MW at Ngong and is operated by Kengen.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is expected to have an installed capacity of over 300 MW making it one of the largest in Africa.

Marsabit, Samburu, Kinangop and Laisamis have been cited as potential areas.

This idea will be impossible if we allow politicians to take center stage in making decisions. It is not the economic factor that is dragging the energy sector but political influence.

In order to go green fully, committing funds to such innovative and cleaner energy sources is not an option. Obviously, the taxpayers want a cheaper and environmentally friendly energy sources.

However, if their taxes are invested appropriately, an expensive project that will save their present and future generations will not be a big deal.

After all no one is immune to global warming, environmental degradation will affect all of us.

With that, we can achieve our post-2015 development goals; vision 2030 will be a reality.

We can satisfy the stipulations under the Kenya Climate Change Action Plan 2013-2017, launched in 2013 with a more emphasis on sub-component 1, ‘Long-term national low carbon development strategy.’

It would make no sense spending money, time and energy developing ‘beautiful’ policies and plans then put no effort to abide by them.

Given that these wind power plants are established in remote areas, it will serve the interest of the people. We need to light up the rural areas in a cleaner way. Wind power is a gateway to alleviate poverty levels.

Utilising wind power in industries that are consuming huge amounts of energy annually will lessen the amount of heat trapping particles normally emitted into the atmosphere.

Cleaner production technologies are no longer an excuse. 50 years from now, the Kenyan citizens will be smiling at how far the country has come in addressing climate change risks only if the government takes the initiative to an extra level as it has done with the National Youth Service projects.

Currently, wind power only accounts for approximately 1% of the world’s electricity productions!

This Article was originally published in Baringo County News

About Caroline Kibii

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