Training of Certified Energy Managers to be carried out in Kenya
The Eastern African Association of Energy Professionals (EAAEP), a regional chapter of Association of Energy Engineers (a US based organisation) has recently received full approval to build capacity through training and to accredit Certified Energy Managers (CEM) from the Eastern African region. The CEM accreditation is a globally approved and recognized certification enabling its graduands to carry out energy audits in any part of the world. Arguably, clean energy, energy audits, renewable energy are now the buzz words not only at the global arena but also in national spheres. In Kenya, the Energy draft bill 2014 is in legislative process awaiting approval in parliament with a view regulate use of energy, with the guidelines on use of energy and more importantly to enforce existing stipulation that all organisations expending more that 180,000 units of energy per year are to have energy audits carried out every three years.
The approval of EAAEP is a significant step towards increasing the number of CEM in the region in order to propel our region in the direction of first world, towards efficient energy use as well as clean energy said Prof. Izael Da Silva, the Interim president of the EAAEP. He went further to explain that this approval came at the end of a long process which started in October 2013 when Andrew Amadi, the current Secretary of the association requested Strathmore University to join the pioneer group who wanted to make the dream of training energy auditors locally a reality.
The other members of this group are Simon Ngure and Harness Sakwa from KenGen, Jonathan Kimeu, Nicholas Gachie from KAM and Kiragu Mugwe. Kenya has largely relied on trainers from South Africa to conduct training on matters energy with steep costs prohibiting this from going large scale. EAAEP seeks to train Kenyan engineers to be Certified Energy Managers, this will assure competitiveness of local manufacturing industries benchmarking with those in the international arena where energy efficiency is key.
In the country, there are approximately 84 Certified Energy Managers, a majority of who are working in the manufacturing sector; this low number is a limitation that would hinder the successful implementation of the Energy Management Regulation 2012, whose deadline for compliance is September 2015. It is with a view to cater for this limitation that a regional chapter has sought approval to train and build capacity for certified energy engineers in the Eastern African region under the auspices of Eastern African Association of Energy Professionals.
Importance of energy audits
The need to reduce energy costs is of essence for successful organizations as it results in low production cost and thus a more competitiveness to the industry in case. Energy audits usually comprise of a variety of surveying techniques to analyse energy usage within a building facility and/or a process. Energy audits also include financial analysis for each identified measure. Energy audits can use information from building management systems (BMS) if it is available but makes use of electricity bills and other proof of expenditure on energy sources such as furnace oil, firewood, LPG, etc.
Benefits of using renewable sources of energy
All energy consumers, but specifically the manufacturing organisations stand to benefit from shifting to green sources of energy such as solar PV, wind, geothermal, agricultural residues and from incorporating green solutions such as solar water heating, etc.
Kenya has abundant renewable sources of energy and the technologies to harvest them are off-the shelf solutions currently being offered in our local market. The EAAEP plans to train production engineers and plant managers in such techniques. This could start a wonderful green revolution which will ensure a sustainable environment to our next generation while at the same time making Kenyan product more competitive in the region and internationally.
As we close this small article we would like to recognize the great support from the Government towards achieving this successful registration. The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and Energy Regulatory Commission were wonderful supporters of our venture from day one. To them and to all who participated in this journey we send our heartfelt vote of thanks.