Global energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric has announced Ksh 500 million investment in promoting access to energy in the next two years.
Global CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire, who visited Kenya last week said the investment will go into funding five renewable energy and sustainable developments across Kenya.
“We hope that by providing access to energy to all will be contributing to poverty alleviation and environmental protection in all innovative and economically sustainable way. Together with our partners we will use a combined approach of offers, investment and training,” said Jean-Pascal.
In 2015, Schneider Electric together with the Rural Electrification Authority of Kenya electrified 128 rural schools. This represents more than 45,000 primary school pupils that now have access to energy for their education needs.
Currently, Schneider Electric partnership with the Salesian Don Bosco Foundation in skills associated with the energy industry as part of its programmes to provide technical and vocational education for young unprivileged Kenyans.
“Electrification is a major challenge that cannot be met without developing adequate local skills. Thus,supporting Technical and Vocational education and Training (TVET) is key to providing lasting solutions for access to energy,”Schneider Electric’s François Milionic and Mathilde Dupré.
Schneider Electric’s entry into Kenya in 2015 as its headquarters into East Africa is aimed at aligning to customers’ needs with the creation of Schneider Electric Kenya.
Schneider says the Kenyan market is expected to drive growth in the East and Northern Africa markets where its Nairobi factory will now supply energy equipment to the two regions.
The company has further partnered with the Ministry of Education to supply learning institutions with mini-grid equipment to help them power their electronic devices.
Schneider Electric Kenya designed a high featured off-grid PV solution. This solution comprises 2PV inverters with solar charge controller. The first PV inverter is dedicated to supply energy for lighting application and the second PV inverter is for computer.
These 2 PV inverters are supported by Deep Cycle Solar GEL batteries and Solar PV modules. Schneider Electric trains local entrepreneurs to install the solution and someone from each school to maintain the system and to regulate its usage.
Kenya has been on an energy expansion drive in a bid to upscale power generation and distribution.
For instance, Kenya Power and Electricity Company (KPLC), produces about 75 per cent of the country’s power – 47 percent of is from geothermal, Hydro 39 per cent, conventional coal, gas and oil-fired generators 13 per cent and wind 1 per cent.
Kenya Power generation Mix as of January 2017
Scheineder looks at implementing Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), committed to provide “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.”
This goal includes three sub-goals to be achieved by 2030: ensuring universal access, doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix, and doubling the global rate of energy efficiency.
Schneider Electric’s access to energy training and entrepreneurship pillar relies on strong principles, which are:
Offers & Business Models: Schneider Electric designs and deploys adequate electrical distribution offers to enable access to energy for all.
Investment: Two investment funds support mature and innovative energy entrepreneurship locally. Already, 14 ventures have benefited from these funds.
Training & Entrepreneurship: Schneider Electric and its Foundation support the training of disadvantaged people and trainers in energy and automation and the design and implementation of inclusive solutions regarding training, mentoring, and funding for entrepreneurs wishing to launch their ventures at all the stages of the energy chain.
Schneider Electric’s ambition for 2025 through its Access to Energy Training & Entrepreneurship Program is to train 1 million people and 10,000 teachers and support 10,000 entrepreneurs in launching their ventures.
These commitments are measured within of the Planet & Society barometer of Schneider Electric.