Kenya: EPRA Develops Mini-Grid Regulations to Scale Up Nationwide Access to Electricity

Nairobi — The Energy and Regulatory Petroleum Authority has developed the Energy Regulations, 2021 and is seeking consensus from players in the industry over the proposed Regulations.

EPRA through a statement said the process will assist in spurring investment in mini-grids in the country, to increase electrification in underserved areas distant from the main-grid.

The authority said it will conduct a nationwide sensitization and consultative sessions before the next stages of validation.

The first forum was held in Garissa town, and thereafter in Lodwar, Mombasa, and later Nairobi.

According to EPRA, the Regulations support the national aspiration of realizing universal access to electricity by 2022 as envisioned in the Kenya National Electrification Strategy launched in 2018.

The draft Regulations were developed within provisions the provisions of the Energy Act, 2019 and are meant to harmonize the mini-grid approval requirements by the National Government, County Governments, and relevant regulatory bodies; provide for mini-grid tariff approvals; provide a clear and competitive process for mini-grids licensing and interconnection to the main grid.

"An Impact Study of the current mini-grids regulatory framework revealed that the framework does not directly address mini-grid development in the country. It is against this backdrop, and an increased interest in mini-grid development by key players, that EPRA developed the draft mini-grid regulations," said EPRA Director General Daniel Kiptoo Bargoria.

Kiptoo also noted that there is a need to strengthen the weak areas of the Regulations through consultation and concurrence amongst sector players.

"Deployment of mini-grids requires a robust policy and regulatory framework which encompass input from all key stakeholders. We therefore look forward to receiving your views and feedback on the draft Regulations," he added.

The Regulations are expected to encourage the development of mini grids in rural Kenya therefore providing a cheaper and cleaner energy alternative to the commonly used energy supplies such as batteries and kerosene lambs.

With a projected additional 280 mini-grids between now and 2022, mainly powered by solar, hydro and wind, underserved communities are poised to benefit from electricity below Kenya's Carbon Dioxide Emission Factor (CEF) of 0.33kg per kWh.

Further, mini grids provide more opportunities for businesses that rely on electricity, stimulating rural economic development.

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