plans to launch an open-ended green energy fund in the next fiscal year to step up generation of environmentally friendly energy, according to the Kenyan government. It said that a reliance on hydropower for electricity has often led to blackouts whenever rains fail, and growing demand has stretched the power infrastructure.
The fund will lend to viable projects at concessional rates, while the second will be a trust fund for training and research in a country that holds huge potential for renewable energy such as geothermal, wind and solar. Mwau said: “The loan facility will provide concessional loans to companies and other institutions that want to invest in green energy, and the money will be disbursed through approved commercial banks.”
Target firms include large electricity consumers such as cement makers and other large manufacturers. Athi River Mining, the country’s third largest cement maker, is already installing renewable power generation plants.
Mwau said the initiative would help add 2000MW of electricity by 2012. “We are contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, so some of these projects will earn carbon credits.” He added that the fund also had the potential to create jobs and improve the lives of the urban poor through their involvement in collecting refuse for energy generation. He said: “Using biomass and other solid waste, we can generate up to 600MW in