Kenya hosts global forum to discuss off-grid solar expansion

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-19 20:07:10|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Sixth Global Off-grid Solar Forum and Exhibition opened in Nairobi on Tuesday with a call for robust financing to expand access to clean energy among low-income households.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said in his opening remarks that the provision of clean energy including solar is key to realize sustainable development.

"We must focus on off-grid solar solutions in our endeavor to tackle poverty, boost childhood literacy and food security for households in remote settings," he added.

The biennial forum, which is organized by Kenya's Ministry of Energy in conjunction with the World Bank and industry partners, aims to inject vitality into the global clean energy agenda in the light of climate emergencies.

Kenyatta said Kenya has rallied behind global push to hasten the transition to low carbon development through adoption of cleaner sources of energy by households and industrial premises.

"We need to deepen penetration of solar energy in rural areas as we figure out how to mitigate impacts of climate change," said Kenyatta, adding that Kenya has created a conducive regulatory environment to boost investments in off-grid solar solutions.

Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Kenya country director, said that multilateral lenders are keen to provide additional financing to boost uptake of cleaner energy sources in low and middle-income countries.

"We plan to address emerging financing needs to enable countries to implement off-grid solar projects and achieve universal access to energy that remains an urgent development imperative," said Jaramillo.

Radhika Thakkar, president of Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Exhibition, said governments should harness private capital to bridge a financing gap that has derailed the expansion of cleaner energy solutions in marginalized regions.