Green energy transition for a healthier planet

As the world grapples with the increasingly urgent challenges posed by climate change, the call for a full-scale transition to green energy has never been more pronounced.

Kenya, taking a proactive stance, is embracing renewable energy sources at an unprecedented pace. From solar and geothermal to wind power and electric mobility, both governmental entities and individual households are making the switch to renewables, yielding promising results despite the initial investment costs.

Kenya’s urban and rural landscapes are now adorned with solar panels atop rooftops, signaling a country in the midst of a green energy revolution. These solar installations power homes, factories, malls, and even petrol stations, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources.

Many Kenyan citizens have turned to solar energy not only for lighting but also for heating, significantly reducing the financial burden of fossil energy bills.

E-mobility in public transport

In the transport sector, Kenya is witnessing the rise of e-mobility, particularly in public transport services and the ubiquitous boda-boda sector. Last week, President William Ruto’s unveiled affordable E-Boda Boda bikes as the government steps toward curbing carbon emissions in the country.

Ride-hailing giant Uber has also introduced its electric motorbike service in Kenya, aiming to make its global platform emissions-free by 2040. With plans to deploy 3,000 e-bikes within six months, Uber anticipates a 30-35 percent reduction in operating costs for drivers and 15-20 percent lower fares for users.

Further, BasiGo, following a successful pilot phase with almost 20 electric buses in Nairobi, is deploying “E9 Kubwa,” a 36-seater electric bus tailored to the Kenyan market. These electric buses can be rapidly recharged at BasiGo’s DC fast charging depots, covering up to 400 km per day with a single mid-day charge.

Jit Bhattacharya, BasiGo CEO, emphasizes that the adoption of electric buses through their Pay-As-You-Drive financing model will significantly reduce diesel consumption and CO2 emissions, marking a substantial milestone for a country like Kenya, which heavily relies on imported petrol and diesel.

The shift towards electric vehicles in Kenya is also influenced by global market trends, as Europe, a key source of fuel-powered vehicles in the country, plans to halt the production of oil combustion engines by 2035.

Read Also: NCBA’s Sh30 billion plan for greener tomorrow

Eco-friendly alternatives

To support this green transition, banks like KCB and NCBA are positioning themselves as key financiers for transport companies embracing eco-friendly alternatives. KCB has partnered with BasiGo Kenya to facilitate the acquisition of green public service vehicles (PSVs), while NCBA has committed to mobilize Kes30 billion for green and sustainable financing by 2030. NCBA’s sustainability strategy also includes substantial investments in EV charging stations across the region.

As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposes an increase in excise taxes on fossil fuels or the introduction of a carbon tax, Kenya is gearing up to meet its mitigation goals. The scientific consensus is clear: to avert the worst impacts of climate change, global emissions must be reduced by nearly half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Kenya’s resolute commitment to green energy, electric mobility, and sustainability financing demonstrates its dedication to tackling climate change head-on, not only for its own benefit but for the well-being of the planet as a whole.

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