Nairobi, 28 November 2014 - The EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) with partners Practical Action Eastern Africa (PA) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) today convened a Dialogue Forum to identify partnership, policy and business opportunities in sustainable energy in Kenya.

The meeting, held in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP), also examined ways in which the private sector and development partners could support the realisation of energy access through rural electrification; energy efficiency, and renewable energy in Kenya through the UN led Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.

“I am very excited about the meeting because off-grid renewable energy options like mini-grids, household cooking and solar systems address the real energy needs of the poor. Men, women, boys and girls in both rural areas and informal urban settlements long for the day they will access affordable, quality and clean energy for their household use, as well as for businesses and community services like schools and health centres. I hope the policy recommendations will respond to their realities and ultimately change their lives.” Grace Mukasa, Regional Director; Practical Action Eastern Africa.

The Forum, which brought together international, regional, and local Non State Stakeholders, discussed solar off-grid electricity, mini-grids (incl. the Mini-grid Policy Toolkit) as well as cooking technologies and appliances. Speakers recognized the importance of off-grid and mini-grid technologies as a promising solution to reduce energy poverty and facilitate the growth of energy markets in the region.

“Given the fact that about two-third of energy investments in Africa go into energy exports, it is more promising to direct financial resources into modern rural electrification technologies. Decentralised renewable energies offer the advantage to integrate both civil society and business interests for the benefit of common progress.” Marcus Wiemann, Secretary General, Alliance for Rural Electrification

This builds on support given to Kenya by the EUEI PDF under the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP).

“Kenya is one of the fast movers in terms of developing a strong energy market that can face the needs of the local population. At EUEI PDF (as the Secretariat of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership) we have been working alongside the Kenyan government in a variety of occasions to bring forward this change. It was now time to push further the involvement of non-state actors and ensure that there is concerted action towards a stronger market, and that the private sector, civil society, donors and financiers alike partner up to fulfill this potential. This is what we have successfully done today.” David Otieno, Project Manager, EUEI-PDF

The event allowed to identify numerous opportunities for partnership, business and cooperation among participants. The Forum closed with a commitment from the private sector, civil society and donors to boost renewable energy, rural electrification and clean cooking in Kenya.

Notes to editors:

About the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF):

As the Secretariat of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) creates a framework for structured political dialogue and cooperation between Africa and the European Union on energy issues of strategic importance. For more information visit www.eueipdf.org.

About Practical Action:

Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries. Our strength is our approach. We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions - transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them. For more information please visit www.practicalanswers.org.

About the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE):

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) is an international business association representing the decentralised energy sector working towards the integration of renewables into rural electrification markets in developing and emerging countries. ARE enables improved energy access through business development support for more than 90 members and partners along the whole value chain for off-grid technologies by targeted advocacy and facilitating access to international and regional funding. For more information please visit www.ruralelec.org.