Letters

Why green energy agenda matters in industrial sector

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Summary

  • The manufacturing sector must use energy and resources efficiently as well as minimise the generation of waste.
  • Green energy is a critical part of reducing global carbon emissions and increasing the pace of investment as the cost of technologies falls and efficiency boosts manufacturing for firms that adopt.

The Kenyan government would like the manufacturing sector to play a bigger role in the country’s economy and has set a target to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 15 percent, from the current 10 percent, green energy is a fundamental driver in achieving this through the renewable energy Bill, which has gone through the second reading.

While this growth is necessary, Kenya’s environmental concerns need to be mitigated.

The manufacturing sector must use energy and resources efficiently as well as minimise the generation of waste. It is estimated that even if every factory, power plant, car and aircraft is shut down, the average global temperature would still increase by 0.6˚C in this century.

‘Green manufacturing’ is no longer an empty slogan. It involves the transformation of industrial operations using green energy, developing and selling green products, and employing green processes in business operations.

Green energy is a critical part of reducing global carbon emissions and increasing the pace of investment as the cost of technologies falls and efficiency boosts manufacturing for firms that adopt.

Green practices benefit not only through long–term cost savings but also from brand enhancement, better regulatory traction, the ability to attract talent and higher investor interest. The financial market regulators are introducing the first green bond in Kenya to guide companies.

These benefits require a long-term commitment and making tradeoffs against short-term objectives, as the economics of green manufacturing is still evolving and not well understood as yet.

However, the benefits of green energy go beyond reducing carbon emissions. Here are reasons why green should make its way up the Big Four agenda’s manufacturing pillar.

Growing price competitiveness of gas, fossil fuels, and other energy alternatives — each with their unique advantages — collectively pose a threat to power plant operators and end-users: volatility and insecurity of price. The price of gas fluctuates across regions and, for fossil fuels, in a cyclical fashion. Green energy prices on the contrary will continually decrease.

We will witness tremendous advancement on the whole value chain — more energy-efficient equipment, better engineering work and park design, and most notably the technology leap enabled by innovation.

Policy measures and financial support encourage long-term certainty green, aiming to cut costs through early deployment. Therefore, green shall continue to generate electricity for a very long time while their efficiency increases, boosting competitiveness.

And of course, green is an infinite source of power the ultimate definition of long-term certainty.

The government should play a key role in the transformation into ‘green manufacturing’. The promotion of green technologies has to be included in the draft strategy for the manufacturing sector.

In the future, competitiveness and profitability will be increasingly linked to the ability of the business to make carbon reduction and sustainable livelihoods an integral part of their value proposition to the consumer.