Track N | Energy Management Around the Globe
Kenya has been one of the fastest growing economy in Sub-Sahara Africa. The manufacturing sector in Kenya has in a long time contributed approximately 10% to the GDP with a vision to grow it towards achievement of the country’s vision 2030 blue print. Competitiveness in manufacturing in East Africa has been driven largely by imports of cheap goods from the East, need for industrialisation and environmental responsibility. Kenya in this regard has put in place measures to grow the sector through policy, regulations and legal framework interventions among other factors. The journey to world class manufacturing has been characterised by various challenges amongst them high production costs and focus on sustainable production. The challenges have been contributed by high energy costs, resource optimisation and environmental pollution. Achievement of competitiveness has been championed by various stakeholders and the efforts have translated to energy and environmental regulations which include but not limited to; 1. The Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations, 2012 2. The Energy (Energy Management) Regulations, 2012 3. The Energy Solar Photovoltaic Systems Regulations, 2012 4. The Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Air Quality) Regulations, 2014 Energy cost contributes significantly in production costs besides raw material and labour costs depending on the industry. Over a long period of time, energy has been viewed as a constant production cost with focus on labour and raw material cost cutting. The thinking has significantly shifted in the past decade and manufacturers have explored energy efficiency in a bid to cut cost. The Energy (Energy Management) Regulations of 2012 has seen a rise in energy efficiency in industry and environmental preservation. Recently, standards and labelling programme has laid out minimum efficiency performance standards for some appliances and equipment, key to industry are the standards of motors. Going forward, this would set a bar to efficiency of equipment utilised hence complementing energy efficiency efforts. Kenyan industries have since embarked on the energy efficiency journey and peculiar challenges in developing country are notable. Most industries are production centred where priority is on how much has been produced on a day to day basis whereas energy utilisation remains a secondary factor. The increasing and fluctuating energy cost has further driven the demand for energy efficiency. Despite this glaring fact on energy efficiency, investment towards achievement of the same has however, been largely based on the capital cost whereas operational cost have remained a marginal component. The other side of energy cost reduction has been advocacy for adjustment of electricity cost downwards which ultimately would be a disincentive in the push for energy efficiency.
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