Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Policy Brief Development to Accelerate Pico Solar Market in Kenya

In support of Kenya’s goal  to move towards a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway as prescribed under the National Climate Change action Plan- NCCAP (2013-2017), the LECRD project engaged Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) to undertake a technical and socio economic baseline survey of solar lighting kits in Kenya. 

The survey was conducted in six counties namely; Migori, Bungoma, Kirinyaga, Embu, Kitui and Samburu. During a stakeholder engagement to review the findings of the survey, it emerged that a policy brief should be developed towards accelerating the Pico solar market in Kenya. Pico solar is defined as the smallest often portable photo voltaic systems that mostly consist of a rechargeable battery and charge controller with a very small solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panel.

In this regard the LECRD project and the KIRDI team through the engagement of a consultant held a three day stakeholder workshop at Merica Hotel in Nakuru from the 27th June 2 to the 1st of July 2016. The objective of the workshop was to map stakeholders in the Pico solar market, identify gaps, challenges and opportunities and come up with policy recommendations to stimulate the Pico solar market development in Kenya.     

The workshop brought together institutions like the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenyatta University Department of Technology, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University Institute of Environment and Energy Technology (IEET), KIRDI, Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), IFC Lighting Africa, Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG), Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KEBS) and Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). These representatives under the stewardship of the consultant   worked in thematic groups working to uncover issues touching on; Manufacturing, standards and labels, Consumer policy awareness, Fiscal marketing and public private partnerships, waste, environment and climate change.

 The engagement was successful with recommendations emerging touching on enhancing consumer awareness through tools such as mobile applications for ease of information access by consumers, encouraging local manufacturing, public financing to promote renewable energy initiatives, developing incubation centres and enhancing the academia-industry initiatives and technical training colleges for Pico solar. The draft policy brief with comments incorporated from various stakeholders will be subjected to a wider group of experts before circulation to policy makers with the aim of accelerating the Pico solar market in Kenya geared towards local manufacture to create jobs and advance renewable energy solutions in the country

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