By Eleen Korir
In the recent past here in Kenya, there has been articles indicating complaints by the electricity distributor, Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), concerning the increased migration from the grid by its clients to solar energy, read more, there’s a clear indication that most people are embracing renewable energy solutions as opposed to depending on the grid supply of energy which at most a times especially in the rural areas is not dependable with frequent blackouts.
The shift to use of solar energy has not been effected by homes but also in big industries across the country. This is as a result of expensive electricity bills from the sole distributor here in Kenya. The use of solar energy reduces this bills significantly especially among the high consumers.
The big question is, what is the future of energy?
The dependence on grid supply of energy is dwindling by the day and with awareness and the urge to combat climate change, the shift to affordable renewable energy sources is the way to go. The world population has been on the increase and the demand for energy is also on the increase and this may not be supplied by only dependence on the grid supply. This calls for us to look at other sources of energy that are affordable, accessible and clean, with an aim of reducing the green gas emissions hence combating the climate change that is becoming a threat across the globe.
So what do we envision as the future of energy?
- Increased use of Solar powered systems across the globe
- Increased wind power generation and use.
- People embracing generation of biogas for cooking especially in the rural areas
- More use of electric vehicles/Motorbikes, with solar powered charging stations across the country
- Reduced cost of electricity from the distributor
- People selling excess electricity generated from the solar/wind power systems to the grid
- Industries running on more than 50% on Solar/wind Energy
- Homes and hotels using solar water heaters for the showers and kitchens
- Availability of enough energy storage facilities that is affordable and long-lasting
- Increased recycling of waste materials to produce fuel and/or briquettes for home and industrial use.
- Availability of electric commuter trains and buses for the city travelers as well as upcountry travellers
- Ease of access to funding to support the installation of solar systems for those who cannot afford the initial capital investment.
- More grants available for institutions and organizations to implement energy efficient projects that are geared towards water supply and food production.
In conclusion with increased awareness, availability of resources and funds to install solar/wind power systems, many institutions, industries and homes will move renewable energy sources that are cheap, clean and accessible. By embracing this and also using the generated energy for increased water supply and food production, there will be a healthy nation, a wealthy economy and more jobs for women and the youth. Finally, with concerted efforts from all sectors in the country, we will be able to achieve this and more.