Saturday, February 12, 2011

First Green Energy Centre to be set up in Nairobi, Kenya

Kenyans are set to reap the rewards of a new initiative to help local companies develop and set up climate friendly technologies that will create thousands of jobs.
World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Andrew Steer announced that the world’s first Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) will be established in Nairobi.

Mr Steer made the revelation yesterday during a conference at the Danish Embassy, Nairobi, dubbed "Green Growth in Kenya" which will focus on the private sectors role in promoting green growth in the context of the country’s changing climate.

The CIC is spearheaded by the Royal Danish Embassy and the Banks Information for Development Program and is expected to help Kenya’s private sector boost industry competitiveness, job creation and cut effects of climate change.

Climate technology
"The creative spark of private Kenyans and African entrepreneur can transform climate challenges into market opportunities. This Climate Innovation Center will provide the help to make it happen," he said.In the first five years, the CIC is expected to create more than 70 climate technology businesses, generating some 4,600 direct and indirect jobs.

"The private sector has a pivoted role in the economy, contributing to 80 per cent of Kenyans GDP. It is expected that 1.7 million informal SMEs will be assisted by CIC," said Geert Aagaard Anderson, the Danish Ambassador to Kenya.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said Kenya must take a green development path if it is to realise faster economic growth.He said the energy sector, which drives the country’s economic growth, has the potential to generate renewable energy of up to 7000MW, if fully exploited.

Renewable energy
"The idea of green economic growth is a logical development pathway for Kenya given the stresses and strains that climate change is posing on socio-economic systems," said the PM at the conference. Raila said renewable energy would help the country reduce deforestation and embark on afforestation of 10 per cent of the land mass.He noted that many parts of the country have high potential for solar and wind energy adding that the challenge was to diversify energy generation through involvement of the private sector.

He said the Government had already established a national task force on Accelerated Development of Green Energy to look into generation of up to 2000MW of additional power from renewable sources by 2013.

The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Soren Pind pledged his government’s support to help Kenya harness renewable energy.

He said Kenya was a good example for Africa after putting up a number of investments such as the Lake Turkana wind farm and geothermal plant at Ol Karia.

Source: The Standard

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