Restoring our earth

By Ruth Sanda

Earth Day is a global call to take concerted actions and find better solutions to restore our planet. We at Kenya Power have, over the years, heeded this call by focusing on restoring the ecosystems around us through natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking.

Our push in doing our bit to restore the world’s ecosystems is driven by our heavy reliance as a business on the sustainable use of natural resources. Mitigation against activities that have adverse environmental effects is therefore important to us.

The Company, for example, places a lot of emphasis on provision of clean energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Over the last five years, our quest for clean energy has seen us reduce the uptake of thermal energy while we have increased the uptake of geothermal, wind, solar, and hydroelectricity. As a result of the reduced thermal dispatch, clean energy now accounts for 92.3% of our total energy mix.

Additionally, the Company is in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to pilot electric motor bikes in the country with plans to put up charging infrastructure to cater for electric vehicles and motor bikes to leverage on the mass rollout of e-mobility.

Further, Kenya Power has been driving the use of energy-saving bulbs for both domestic and industrial customers to promote energy conservation.

In partnership with the Kenya Forest Service, the Company has supported several environmental conservation initiatives such as planting trees around Kenya’s water catchment areas. This afforestation campaign has seen the Company plant 261,500 trees in various parts of the country over the last 10 years.

To further reduce reliance on trees for poles and maintain the country’s forest cover, the Company has incrementally used concrete poles for construction of power lines. During the financial year 2019/2020, for instance, we used 34,455 concrete poles. In essence, this means that over 34,000 trees were spared from being used for poles. The use of the durable concrete poles has also reduced the rate of pole replacement by 50%.

In compliance with environmental regulations, the Company conducts environmental and social impact assessments for all its new infrastructure projects. Moreover, we conduct environmental audits of our existing projects to ensure that they are environmentally sustainable.

All these initiatives have given us the opportunity to create a great middle ground where our business as Kenya Power and the environment co-exist even as we continue working towards crafting a brighter, greener world on Earth Day and beyond.