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A public-private partnership will bring a boost in renewable energy to some of the poorest communities in Kenya.
Thirteen Kenyan communities with about 200,000 residents are slated to receive refurbished wind turbines from Vestas, a Danish manufacturer that is working with Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, Masdar, to provide power to areas that need it the most. The turbines will be installed alongside diesel power generators to create hybrid systems to run on small grids in remote areas that have limited infrastructure.
The projects are being coordinated with the Kenyan Ministry of Energy, Kenya Power and Light Company and several governmental agencies. They are expected to supply electricity for at least 30 percent less than the current cost of the diesel power production currently going in the communities.
“Addressing the lack of access to clean, reliable and affordable energy services for billions of people is one of the world’s most critical development challenges and is becoming increasingly prominent on the international agenda,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Operating Officer.
“For the last 40 years, the United Arab Emirates has been committed to helping countries achieve economic growth and introducing technology that allows access to energy. Wind for Prosperity is aligned with Masdar’s mission to work on the introduction of sustainable energy solutions.”
The parties leading Wind for Prosperity want to install the hybrid power generation systems in 100 communities to reach at least 1 million people in the next three years. They are looking at deploying the systems to communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Yemen, Pakistan, Vietnam and Nicaragua.
"The introduction of renewable energy in the off-grid stations is a high priority for the Kenyan government," said Davis Chirchir, cabinet secretary of the Kenyan Ministry for Energy and Petroleum. "Hybridization will have the desired benefit of reducing the use of fuel used in the generators and this will make it possible to provide electricity to more people in rural areas.”
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