The solar hot water workshop was conceptualized owing to the need to bring stakeholders in the solar
hot water industry together to discuss the various issues affecting the industry and to map the way
forward for a sustainable future given the current operating environment in the region. The need to
put solar water heating as a centralfocus of attention stems from various interventions in the past five
years that although have created awareness and uptake, still need joint efforts to hit the nationwide
renewable energy targets.
In addition, the need to harness industry knowledge from key renewable energy expert Mr. Eric
Hawkins with vast renewable energy qualifications and business interests in three continents played
a key role in constituting this forum for discussion. Mr. Hawkins who hails from the UK and has been
involved in the design of state-of-the-art solar energy hot water systems, energy storage tanks, and
solar energy knowledge transfer. As the key facilitator, the workshop tapped into his insights on solar
system design, installation and maintenance.
As a result of the Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012 requiring all premises with hot
water requirements exceeding 100 litres per day to have solar water heating panels, discussions have
been rife on how to regulate, improve and capitalize on these opportunities as solar practitioners.
The workshop sought create and invigorating space for these discussions amongst different industry
players and to share knowledge with a view to yielding sustainable next steps.
The Energy Regulatory Commission, indicates that an estimated 4 million households need
installation of the Solar Hot Water heating systems in Kenya. This compared against the 160 licensed
professionals who can carry out the installations is very limited in terms of capacity to deliver. The
need for sensitization to increase professional uptake vide the valid certification process, in order to
enhance the human resource capacity for solar installations requires prioritisation. This workshop
was aimed at stimulating key stakeholders to be involved in building capacity as the country moves
towards embracing renewable energy and towards meeting the global energy goals.