Kenyan-German Practitioners’ Forum on Renewable Energy 2019

Germany remains a keep partner to support Kenya’s evolution in the renewable energy sector.

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce for Eastern Africa (AHK Eastern Africa), through the Competence Centre Energy and Environment, has hosted the 2019 Kenyan-German Practitioner’s Forum on Renewable Energy. Over 100 participants were present, at Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, on Tuesday 24th, September 2019, with the aim of building fruitful relationships or strengthening existing ones in the field of renewable energy solutions provision and implementation. Six German companies were participating in this business delegation and also presenting their cutting edge solutions on optimizing energy supply for Kenyan Commerce and Industry.

Deputy Ambassador and Head of Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kenya, Thomas Wimmer, said the conference is well timed. “This forum addresses the key role of clean, affordable and smartly distributed energy for the Kenyan economy. German companies are global front-runners in renewable energy and energy efficiency and can support Kenya in achieving its ambitious energy goals.”

Delegate of German Industry for Eastern Africa, Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, reinforced that German companies are interested in the Kenyan renewable energy market. However, she did note that there is an ongoing conversation surrounding the financing challenge. “In the beginning German solutions may seem expensive, however, unlike other providers who are prone to costly premature maintenance and replacement, German solutions are long lasting thereby reducing the long term cost of implementation.”

According to data presented at the forum by RENAC (Renewables Academy) Regional Director, Christoph Wunsch, as of 2018, Germany’s total gross electric product was 640.7 TWh. 35% of that is attributed to renewable energy sources and the rest acquired through nuclear energy and fossil fuels. "Even further, up to this point in 2019, Germany produced 46.5% of it’s electricity from renewable energy sources, which shows that we are on track to meet our goals of reaching at least 80% of renewable electricity by 2050." The German Energy Transition not only helps Germany in safeguarding the environment but is also a boost for domestic employment creation. Finally, also the import bill for fossil fuels has significantly been reduced.

The Climate Protection Program 2030, passed by the German government, aims at cutting CO2 emissions by 55% since 1990 levels, by reducing dependency on coal, oil and nuclear. By 2022, the country is looking to fully shut down all nuclear power in favor of renewable solutions. The ambition of the country is to have 65% gross electricity consumption generated by renewable sources by 2030.

Thilo Vogeler, Head of Competence Center Energy and Environment at AHK Eastern Africa presented the current status of the Kenyan energy sector. With the connection of the Lake Turkana Wind Park in July, coupled with the expanding Geothermal generation base, and legacy hydro power stations, almost all electricity consumed in Kenya is derived from renewable sources. “For the whole year, fossil fuel based electricity consumption should stand at only around 5%, therefore showing how also Germany can learn a lot from Kenya when it comes to shifting to sustainable economic practices.”

Kenyan industries are approaching international standards in their production processes and must exploit efficiency potentials at all stages of value creation. Kenya and Germany continue to be great partners for knowledge and experience sharing as the conversations surrounding climate change and energy production become less of a debate and more of an actionable necessity.

The forum was hosted by AHK Eastern Africa, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and implemented in partnership by RENAC. Participants present were representative of German energy solutions providers, Kenyan Energy Regulatory Bodies, Renewable Energy Developers and Construction Companies, Law Firms, Embassies, Development Agencies and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

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