The Kenya Power inaugural Manufacturers’, Technology and Innovation Expo, kicked off at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), this morning in Nairobi under the theme of Affordable, Clean and Sustainable Energy for all.
The EXPO, which runs from Wednesday, July 6 to Friday July 8, has attracted 37 local and international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of the grid and ancillary solutions that demonstrate business efficiency, cost-effectiveness, quality service, and positive customer experience.
Some of the organisations displaying their bespoke equipment and technology include General Electric, Schneider Electric, Amotech Africa, Professional Digital Systems Ltd (PDSL) and Astral AER Solutions Ltd among others. In addition, the event has attracted local innovators and their start-ups. Some of them include Paul Mugambi, a visually impaired Kenyan who is showcasing a pre-paid meter that he has redesigned to make it user friendly to the visually impaired.
This high-level event comes at a time when Kenya, and indeed the region, is actively working to deepen electricity access while undertaking strategic investments to: improve power quality and reliability, deploying technologies to improve technical and operational efficiencies, and revolutionising customer service interactions.
This is happening as the energy sector undergoes major developments, such as the shift towards renewable energy, the increased adoption of e-mobility, and the drive to embed clean cooking practices as the global push to protect the environment gains momentum. The EXPO is also taking place when Kenya Power is celebrating 100 years of powering Kenya’s social-economic growth.
The event will offer participants an unrivalled platform to exchange ideas, benchmark against their peers, and identify potential areas of collaboration with like-minded organisations.
Speaking while opening the event officially, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Dr (Amb) Monica Juma, said Kenya was taking deliberate steps to ensure provision of clean, affordable and sustainable energy to power the country’s growth.
“We have made very strong international commitments and taken deliberate steps to have the energy sector achieve carbon neutral status by sourcing electricity solely from clean 2 sources by year 2030 in alignment with SDG 7 which advocates for the provision of clean energy for all,” said the CS.
She added that Kenya must take advantage of technology to improve on the country’s grid and create access to low cost power.
Dr Juma said Africa is experiencing energy pressure due to the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war, and there is therefore a need to create a path of sustainable energy security. This, she said, will be achieved by relying on innovative ideas and technologies, including green hydrogen energy, whose feasibility studies are ongoing in Kenya.
“Saving the oceans depends on going green, in other words, you cannot go blue without going green, Similarly, I do not think you can go green without going blue,” added the CS.
While making her address during the same event, Kenya Power’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Vivienne Yeda said: “We remain keenly aware of the highly dynamic and fast-paced operating environment and the imperative to keep abreast of emerging trends and innovations within the energy sector”.
“Affordable energy is, therefore, not just a corporate goal for KPLC, but a universal goal that the global community aspires to achieve before, but not later than 2030. That means that the investment we all make today must take into account the access and affordability of energy today and into the long distance future. We must not burden current and future generations with ever-increasing costs of energy, which will affect their social and economic well-being instead, we must responsibly ensure that the prices of energy decreases steadily over time,” she added.
On his part, Kenya Power Acting Managing Director, Eng. Geoffrey Muli, said the Company was leveraging on technology including drone technology, smart meters, Internet of Things, among others to increase efficiency, enhance customer satisfaction and safeguard revenue.
“We have so far installed smart meters for 7000 Large Power customers, and 67,000 SMEs. We have also established seven smart meter data control centres across the country. The results of this move are already evident and as such, we have so far registered an 8% growth in sales from the 67,000 SME accounts, while debt age has reduced from 34.58 days to 27.87 days. We are therefore planning to install an additional 75,000 smart meters for SME accounts in this Financial Year,” said Eng. Muli.
The Company had also undertaken a grid automation journey to enable it detect and diagnose network issues, and undertake remedial action remotely in order to reduce customer interruptions.
“We have so far automated 100% of the network in Nairobi’s industrial areas, and the next phase is targeting industries in Thika, Kisumu, Nyeri and Eldoret,” added the Acting MD.