Kenya to give out 3.3 million free energy saving bulbs

By Chris Mgidu
Electricity utility company, Kenya Power, will distribute 3.3 million free energy saving bulbs countrywide later this year.
   The project, implemented under Clean Development Mechanism's (CDM) efficient lighting programme, will see the firm and the government replace ordinary bulbs (incandescent lamps) with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which will benefit about one million Kenya Power customers.

   "Selected target customers for the project include low-income households and Kenya Power's StimaLoan (revolving fund) customers in various parts of the country, who will get a maximum of four bulbs," Kenya Power said in a statement issued in Nairobi on June 14.
   The East African nation says the free distribution of energy- saving bulbs is expected to save 49 megawatts of power. The government also plans to offer interest-free, long- term loans to companies investing in local production of energy-saving devices.
   Kenya Power said the project will help reduce demand for electricity as the bulbs use less electricity and consequently reduce power bills for customers.
   "The project is expected to reduce demand for electricity from domestic customers and nationally help save 130 MW, especially during evening peak demand," Kenya Power said.
   Kenya is facing twin pressure of electricity connection and generation. The interconnected installed capacity currently stands at 1,672 MW, including the 120 MW of the emergency capacity, according to the company.
   The current national interconnected system peak demand is 1,330 MW. But the country is banking on several power generation projects currently under implementation.
   Kenya Power said the project, which is financed jointly by Kenya and the French Development Agency (AFD), including distribution and retrofitting exercise in all regions where the power utility operates, is estimated to cost 15.3 million US dollars.
   According to Kenya Power, reduction of peak demand will consequently mitigate climate change through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions estimated at 117,000 tons carbon dioxide per year.
   This year's exercise is being implemented as the second phase of the company's 2010 "Badilisha Bulb" ( Replace Bulb) campaign, which involved retrofitting 1.25 million CFL bulbs in exchange of ordinary (incandescent) bulbs.
   Kenya Power said it will carry out awareness campaigns to sensitize customers on the need to conserve energy by using available energy efficiently during the project’s implementation.
   In 2010, the company entered into a contract with Standard Bank Plc to develop the CDM project and buy the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) generated by the project.
   The project is already registered with CDM and the revenue expected from the sale of the CERs will be used to replenish the revolving fund to enhance access to electricity in the country. (Xinhua)