The British High Commission, in conjunction with Barclays Bank of Kenya yesterday held the UK-Kenya Renewable Energy Conference (REC 100) aimed to secure investment into Kenya’s growing renewable energy sector, building a strong pipeline of deals to accelerate the nation’s pace of affordable electrification.
The Conference brought together 100 representatives from Kenyan and British firms across a range of low carbon solutions. Speakers included Energy & Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, CEO of Barclays Kenya Jeremy Awori, and Lord Clive Hollick, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kenya & Tanzania.
The collaboration between the UK and Kenyan renewable energy sectors is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Governments in May of 2016, which saw the UK commit Ksh 70.5 billion to support the development of strategic renewable energy projects in Kenya. The MoU also promotes opportunities for private sector trade and investment by the UK in Kenya’s renewable energy sector.
Speaking at the Conference, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey said:“The UK and Kenya are at the vanguard of renewable energy, clean technology and innovation. Kenya has one of the most active renewable energy sectors in Africa, and the UK is a global leader in many of the sectors for which Kenya has greatest demand.
“We are excited by this growing UK-Kenya partnership in renewables, working together to bring clean, sustainable energy to the Kenyan people and accelerate Kenya’s development and economic growth”.
Barclay’s Bank of Kenya, the conference co-sponsor, is a financier of energy projects. Barclays has arranged the financing for 21 renewable projects in South Africa, delivering around 40 per cent of the country’s renewable energy capacity. The bank has also played key financing and advisory roles in Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, and in the Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda.
According to Jeremy Awori, Barclay’s Bank of Kenya CEO:“Our expertise in investment financing and knowledge of the energy sector and its technologies position us to take advantage of falling renewable energy costs by partnering with the right investors to help Kenya achieve the government’s 5000MW plan by 2017.
Barclays is currently working on a partnership with Eiser Infrastructure, an independent equity fund headquartered in London, that will link local developers with international investors.
Kenya still has a low electrification rate by development standards, meaning that more power projects must be developed in order to meet demand, achieve the Government of Kenya’s targets, and deliver accessible pricing.