Gridworks’ Business Development Manager, Shaun Githuku, today led a Gridworks delegation showcasing our investments to the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. The presentation was part of an event at London’s Kew Gardens, the first stop on President Kenyatta’s official visit to the UK.
President Kenyatta and the Rt. Hon Alok Sharma MP, President of the COP26, were at the event to celebrate the Kenya-UK Year of Climate Action, and Kenya’s leadership on climate change in Africa ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November. The President and Mr Sharma were shown an exhibition of climate-friendly technology being used in Kenya and supported by the UK Government.
Our Business Development Manager, Shaun Githuku, who is a Kenyan national, met the President and talked to him about plans to invest in Africa’s electricity networks. Shaun highlighted our investment in Sustainable Power Solutions (“SPS”), a distributed renewable energy company that provides solar power and battery solutions to business customers across sub-Saharan Africa. SPS is expanding rapidly in Kenya and has built, operated and financed a number of projects, including for Liquid Telecom’s East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, which is the largest in East Africa.
Gridworks’ investment has helped drive SPS’s activity in Kenya and into new markets across Africa. The investment aims to reduce carbon emissions and demonstrate the commercial viability of distributed renewable energy for businesses in a continent where over 70 per cent of total energy demand currently comes from commercial and industrial customers.
During the visit, Shaun spoke to President Kenyatta about Gridworks’ ambition to bring private sector funding to critical electricity transmission projects across sub-Saharan Africa. And he briefed the President on our efforts to build more captive solar projects in countries like Kenya where many businesses currently rely on expensive, polluting diesel generation for their power needs.
Shaun Githuku said:
“It was a pleasure to meet President Kenyatta and Mr Sharma and to show them the impact that Gridworks’ investments are having in Kenya. Our investment in SPS is helping the company grow in Kenya and across Africa to deliver clean, affordable solar power to commercial and industrial customers.
“We recognise that there has been significant private investment in power generation to address the need for reliable electricity in Africa. However, sustainable and reliable power sectors require targeted investment in the electricity networks that transmit and distribute that power. I explained to President Kenyatta that Gridworks is here to encourage more investment in transmission and distribution and to work with African governments who recognise the need for such investment. Improving the efficiency and operations of electricity networks will cut their running costs and lead to networks that are better placed to serve Africa’s people and businesses. It will also, crucially, enable the uptake of more renewable energy on to the continent’s electricity infrastructure.”