New tariff plan boosts hunt for green energy

07/03/2010 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Introduction of an electricity feed-in tariff policy in Kenya has triggered interest in adoption of renewable energy sources.

It has also seen a rise in the number of planned carbon market projects and those currently ongoing.

Windmill: Producers of green energy to get paid. Photo/FILEUnited Nations Environment Programme (Unep) says the policy encourages use of geothermal, wind and biomass as renewable power generation sources. The electricity is later sold to form part of the national grid.

Under the initiative, power generators from mini-hydro projects receive up to 12 US cents per kilowatt hour produced, 7 US cents for biomass and 9 US cents for wind power.

“Policy mechanisms designed to encourage adoption of renewable energy sources triggered interest in establishing Africa’s largest wind farm in Turkana,” said Unep executive director Achim Steiner.

He said in a new assessment report that Turkana Wind Power Ltd will generate 300 megawatts of electricity, adding that Kenya’s number of ongoing carbon market projects has risen from two to 15 since 2007.

Energy permanent secretary Patrick Nyoike last year said the government set up the tariff policy to facilitate the exploitation of renewable energy sources.

Mr Steiner said Africa has over 120 carbon market projects up and running or in the pipeline ranging from wind power to forestry schemes, but still lags behind the rest of world because green energy is under-exploited.

He said growth in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under the Kyoto Protocol is uneven as larger economies of Egypt and South Africa claim the lion’s share with 32 and 13 projects respectively.

Under the protocol, developed economies can offset some of their emissions at home, by investing in developing country projects in areas such as renewable energy and forestry schemes.

Mr Steiner said their work and a myriad of other partners on capacity building, mobilising finance and other barrier-breaking initiatives has been bearing fruit in a number of countries in growth of carbon markets.

“To realise only a few percentage points more of massive potential for wind, solar, biomass and waste into energy schemes, action across a range of challenges needs to be stepped up,” he said.

Mr Steiner said this was in part the responsibility of the United Nations, regional development banks and international funding and donor bodies across the world.



Entry filed under: Incentives, Policy, Renewable Energy.

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