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The Energy Ministry of Kenya and the European Union (EU) have launched a program to empower the counties of the nation to meet their energy generation provisions. The program named Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (SETA) is an institutional capacity development initiative that aims towards implementing nearly 15 renewable energy projects.
The launching event was held in Meru County and participated by stakeholders from national and county governments, civil society, and the private sector. The SETA initiative is funded by the EU and will support 20 counties including Meru, to finalize their energy plans in alignment with the Integrated National Energy Planning Framework.
The project is designed to consist of wind, solar, and battery energy storage, providing clean power to the national grid. The SETA initiative aims to address the capacity gaps in the energy sector that were identified within the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Action Agenda (2016). It is a program with an objective to access renewable sources to ensure efficient, climate, and environment-friendly energy services for Kenyans.
Gordon O. Kihalangwa, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, appreciated the EU support through SETA, amounting to Ksh 433 million (€ 3.4 million). He called upon the counties to take the process of preparing their energy plans seriously, as these are critical instruments for accessing funds from the National Treasury as well as development partners.
Kihalangwa also urged the County Executive Officers in charge of energy to support the ministries, private sector, and civil society in their respective counties to develop a strong framework for energy planning.
Prof. John Lonyangapuo, Council of Governors (CoG) Energy, Transport and Infrastructure Chairman, mentioned that the county governments are undertaking physical planning relating to energy resources and disaster management, facilitating the demand for energy. The SETA project will enable the counties to produce real energy plans as envisaged in the Energy Act.
Martin K. Andersen, Head of Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation Section, EU Delegation, commented that the EU is supporting Kenya to increase the capacity of county, provincial and national governments to adopt a more inclusive and integrated planning approach in clean energy development. The SETA initiative influences a system change that will enable increased access to sustainable and reliable energy for Kenyan households and MSMEs.