Kenyans have for a while complained about the high costs of electricity and petroleum products, which have significantly resulted in rising costs of consumer goods and the cost of living. The government’s promise that investments in renewable sources like geothermal, wind and solar would herald the beginning of cheaper electricity are yet to relieve Kenyans of the burden.
However, things seem to ease after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to key bills including Energy Bill 2017, which establishes three national entities to manage and regulate Kenya’s energy resources.
The law establishes the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation and the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority will regulate generation, importation, exportation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electrical energy with the exception of the licensing of nuclear facilities.
It will also regulate importation, refining, exportation, transportation, storage and sale of petroleum and petroleum products with the exception of crude oil, as well as manage production, conversion, distribution, supply, marketing and use of renewable energy.
The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation will undertake tasks including managing the implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme, handling the Rural Electrification Programme Fund and sourcing for additional funds for the programme and renewable energy.
The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency will propose policies and legislation for the successful implementation of a nuclear power programme. It will also undertake extensive public education on Kenya’s nuclear power programme.
President Kenyatta also assented to Petroleum Bill which will provide a framework for contracting, exploring, developing and producing the commodity.
It will also be used to create a national policy for operations and as a reference point in the establishment of petroleum institutions. Under the new law, the national government, county governments and communities will receive a fair share of the revenue from petroleum operations. Counties will receive 20 percent of the national government’s share while communities will get five percent of the same share.
Parliament is tasked with reviewing the percentages within 10 years, while considering any necessary adjustments.