E.ast Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) is investing in a large green energy system that will soon part with Kenya Power. The brewer is investing $ 200 million in a solar power system that will power its Kenyan factories, fueling companies’ move to generate their own electricity from solar energy.
Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) general manager John Musunga said the brewery aims to move 100 percent to green energy by 2030 and to decouple itself from Kenya Power in Kisumu.
The brewer’s investments come in the midst of an outcry from Kenyan energy supplier Kenya Power that some of its industrial customers – who account for around 68.31 percent of sales – are gradually switching to self-generated solar power, which is another blow to the already falling income. .
According to Musunga, the EABL is committed to getting 100 percent renewable electricity in all of its facilities by 2030, with biofuel production included in the $ 200 million.
The production of biofuels will help the brewery reduce CO2 emissions by 95 percent (approx. 42,000 tons of carbon per year) and create over 900 direct and indirect jobs across the supply chain.
Mr. Musunga confirms that the plan is already being partially implemented at the Kisumu plant and that 10 percent of the current electricity needs will be covered by renewable energy from solar energy.
READ: Industrial conversion to solar energy fuels debate in Kenya
The mega-investment, which is Diageo’s largest climate change investment in sub-Saharan Africa, will be launched in early 2022.
KBL joins a list of industrial companies and factories that use on-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to provide electricity for internal use to ensure reliable supply and reduced operating costs.
Some large-scale consumers, such as Mombasa International Airport, have recently put solar power systems into operation on their properties. The major conversion to solar energy by large consumers has pushed Kenya Power into a deeper dilemma in the course of the overproduction of electricity.
Power generators have increased production amid lower consumption by households and businesses in the wake of Covid-19.
Payments for no-load electricity are passed on to consumers thanks to a take-or-pay clause in contracts between the government and power producers that forces Kenya Power to buy the agreed amount of electricity regardless of demand.