By Chris Mbori.
The energy management space like any other industry keeps evolving. All players and stakeholders alike need to keep abreast of emerging aspects and adapt to change to not only take advantage of the opportunities but also to plug into the different energy initiatives for impact.
In Kenya 2018 was earmarked at the year for action and the energy space will not doubt be part of this projected movement. Below are some key areas that will have a definitive impact in the energy space in Kenya.
1. Solar Hot water regulations
The Energy regulator in Kenya has started enforcing the solar hot water regulations. These regulations require that anyone who consumes more than 100 litres of hot water must install a solar hot water system that can serve up to 60% of their daily hot water demand. With the regulator (EPRA) having budgeted to enforce these regulations, there is going to be a greater uptake of solar hot water systems.
2. The Performance Contracting Model for Energy Services
After many years of conducting energy audits in Kenya, the market has overgrown energy audits and is now looking into implementation of energy projects. Because, capital will always have competing interests, clients are looking at Energy Service Companies who offer more innovative financing solutions that will help them implement the energy projects. Energy Performance Contracting is one way that most energy service companies will seek to offer their clients. The energy service model is going to have a bigger impact in the Kenyan market this year.
3. Solar PV for Commercial and Industrial Consumers
The cost of electricity in Kenya has gone up over the last 3 years. The same trend although opposite in direction, has seen the cost of solar PV systems without batteries going down over the last few years. With such market forces, it makes a lot of business sense for commercial and industrial customers to embrace embedded solar or roof top solar solutions. Already quite a number of consumer have already installed the embedded roof top grid tied solar systems and brought down their electricity cost considerably.
4. Water Management
With Kenya classified as a water stressed country, water management will come to the fore. This provides great opportunities to manage water consumption more efficiently. Already, the Nairobi County government is stretched to find our better solutions for managing its water like rain harvesting and reduction of leaks. These initiatives by Nairobi County government are aimed to ensuring a steady supply of water to its residents.
5. Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa
With new elected leaders taking office, it is expected that activities across the Eastern Africa space by the Association of Energy Professionals will be robust. The new President of AEPEA is working to help the Kenyan Government achieve its Big 4 agenda items through prudent energy and water management initiatives. AEPEA is also looking at empowering the ESCo model for better implementation of energy efficiency and water efficiency projects.
The last 3 years has seen constant opportunities in Solar PV, Solar Hot Water, and Water Management. This Energy Performance Contracting and Leadership at Association of Energy Professional Eastern Africa will take center stage in delivering bigger impact in the energy space. All energy stakeholders must plug in and create the much needed awareness and change.