The American government is scouting for renewable energy projects in Kenya and across Africa that it can invest in. Under the Power Africa program, Washington is targeting to bankroll green energy projects such as geothermal, solar, wind, and biomass.
The four are cheaper sources to light up homes and power enterprises in Africa.This shows President Donald Trump is keen to hold onto a legacy program started by his predecessor Barack Obama.
Projects have up to September 25th to apply for support in the form of equity financing and grants. They are also encouraged to acquire technical assistance. Ideally, they shall also need to do share advertising. This is in a bid to partner with American firms in the energy sector.
The US Trade and Development Agency is the body implementing Power Africa and the US Africa Clean Energy Finance programs. These programs seek to increase access to electricity and support private sector investments.
In a statement, the agency state that USTDA’s investments under the program provide critical early-stage support. This will help advance new power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. They further added that projects are assessed to gauge possible success rates. The assessment will include the practicability with regards to technology. It will also consider their social and environmental impact.
Power Africa Projects
The 9.7Bn Obama plan has seen Kenya as one of the biggest beneficiaries. The plan meant to fund projects purposes to double electricity access in the world’s poorest continent. It also stimulates economic growth. Power Africa currently has various projects in Kenya that. Upon completion, the projects will add more than 400 megawatts to the national electricity grid.
Some of the aforementioned projects include a 10MW solar plant at Gitaru. Gitaru set the pace of KenGen’s entry into solar energy generation. Others are Quint Power’s 40MW solar plant at Nyakwere Hills. There is also a Kisii-focused solar microgrid firm Powerhive. Lastly is a 70MW geothermal power plant in Olkaria.