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Kenya to benefit from Beyond the Grid

04 June 2014, 13:33

Nairobi - The country is poised to benefit further from an innovative initiative that has been launched under the framework of United States President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

US Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, has launched the Beyond the Grid initiative Ethiopia.

The United Nations Foundation, along with 26 other founding partners, have joined ‘Beyond the Grid’, the innovative programme for decentralized energy under the Power Africa initiative.

Over five years, the UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network along with other founding partners will help ‘Beyond the Grid’ leverage partnerships and direct investments of at least US$1 billion into off-grid and small scale solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, helping to take innovative business models to scale and bringing electricity to an anticipated 20 million households and businesses.

Formally launched by President Obama in June last year, the initiative has already helped complete almost 2 800 MW worth of transactions and has secured commitments for another 5 000 MW, representing almost 75 percent of the initial goal of bringing an additional 10 000 MW of cleaner, more reliable energy to Power Africa’s six focus countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The Power Africa initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership among the United States government, governments in Africa, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the private sector.

“With close to 600 million people without access to modern-day electricity, it is clear that centralized grid access is not a comprehensive solution for these countries in one of the world’s least urban continents. But through solutions including off-grid and small scale energy projects, we can bring electricity to these rural areas,” said Moniz  in a statement following the launch of the initiative.

This comes barely two months after the Lake Turkana Wind Power project received Sh. 75 billion for the construction of the project from European Investments Bank EIB and six other banks. The project is expected to generate 300 Megawatts which will be able to save the country up to 150 million through fuel replacement costs.

 – CAJ News

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