The Kenya Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in collaboration with the World Bank Group has developed a new information portal system for investors and developers.
The new web-based information portal is a source of licensing and relevant industry information that will help investors and developers permit and develop new renewable energy projects.According to Pavel Oimeke, director for renewable energy at the ERC, the portal provides faster access to information and easier way to train new employees.
“The Renewable Energy Portal is a highly interactive website that has made life easier for the Renewable Energy Directorate of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in many ways. The portal has enhanced and made easy our advisory role to the general public and investors on regulatory and licensing issues for renewable energy in Kenya, in addition to making it easier to orient and train new employees,” said Oimeke,The system is designed to reduce the time and cost of developing renewable energy projects and help encourage private investment in reliable and environmentally responsible energy sources.
Speaking during the event, Harrison Leaf, director of Access Energy, a Kenya-based provider of affordable energy systems, said information will be readily available with the new system which will provide faster access.“As a start-up company, it is very important that we get straightforward regulatory advice. In the past we had to go to several consultants and officials to find information, which was a time consuming process,” he said.
“We have used the ERC portal several times in the past few months to research regulatory and other information crucial to the way we do business in Kenya. The portal is often our first port of call when we plan to move into a new area of business.”Investors and potential developers have been facing a lot of challenges, including complex regulatory requirements. Information about fifteen separate clearances from nine different government agencies was dispersed and often difficult to find.
Through the portal’s user-friendly interface, developers can now access step-by-step guidance on the permitting process and application requirements.They can search the portal by project type and size to find detailed clearances and policies specific to their projects.
The portal also features a wealth of additional information useful to renewable energy project developers, including market information such as grid specifications and tariff, levels maps of existing transmission and distribution lines, location and size of existing renewable energy projects, information and links to the government’s policies on renewable energy, such as the recently updated feed-in tariff regulations
Apart from the World Bank Group, the Ministry of Energy, National Environmental Management Authority, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Water Resource Management Authority, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Local Government, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Investment Authority, and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company supported the development of the portal.
In 2008, Kenya became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce the “Feed-in Tariff Policy” (FiT), which guarantees investors fixed rates for power from eligible renewable energy projects.