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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya enforce solar water heating law to mitigate climate change

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to enforce a solar water heating law in order to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, the energy regulator said on Thursday.

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Acting Director General Robert Pavez Oimeke told an energy forum in Nairobi that all the regulations have already being finalized.

"Beginning in May all commercial buildings will be required to install solar water heaters as part of plans to green the Kenyan economy," Oimeke said.

Oimeke noted that majority of commercial institutions such as factories and schools rely on biomass such as firewood to heat water.

"This has a huge negative impact on the environment as it leads to deforestation," he added.

The regulator said that businesses and households are likely to save between 30 to 50 percent on their electricity bills when they switch to solar water heaters.

The acting director general noted that the cost of solar panels has decreased by 50 percent in the past five years.

He said that up to 70 percent of the commercial buildings have already complied with the law.

"We are assisting the remaining buildings to fit their premises so that they help Kenya conserve the environment," he said.

According to the regulator, Kenya relies partly on fossil fuels to generate electricity and therefore use solar energy will help Kenya shift away from non-renewable sources of energy.

ERC is currently conducting a study to determine the amount of savings that Kenya will realize by adopting solar water heating.

             

 

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