Kenya is moving to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a grouping of sunshine countries expected to play an equivalent role of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) with the shift in focus from fossil fuels.
Kenya was the only remaining country in East Africa to join the association, despite being the second largest standalone solar market in the world, behind India. The main goal of the solar grouping is to ignite increased use of solar energy and cut reliance on fossil fuels.
“We’ve set in motion the process of joining and the AG’s (Attorney General) office is doing due diligence that will guide our next step,” Energy principal secretary Joseph Njoroge said in interview.
About 6.2 million solar kits have been sold in Kenya over the past 10 years. The country is currently hosting the sixth Global Off-Grid Solar Forum 2020 in Nairobi.
The solar alliance, ISA, is a grouping of over 120 nations with more others expected to join. It’s headquartered in India and was birthed during the Paris 2015 climate conference in France. They are considered sunshine countries – sitting between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Except Kenya, all the other countries in east Africa are members of the solar alliance. Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi have signed and ratified the alliance’s treaty while Tanzania and Ethiopia have signed but are yet to ratify.
The alliance has partnered with World Bank to launch Global Solar Atlas – a free online tool that displays annual average solar power potential at any location in the world and thus identify potential sites for solar power generation.
The solar atlas is expected to help governments save millions of dollars on their own research and provide investors and solar developers with an easily accessible and uniform platform to compare resource potential between sites in one region or across multiple countries.