The market for green energy in Africa has experienced unprecedented growth, in particular with solar power installed throughout the continent. However, the full potential of this growth, to create new jobs and build local industrial capacity, has yet to materialize.
Power for All through their #PoweringJobs campaign, launched a first of its kind job census at an event organised by Power for All and supported by UNEP DTU Partnership in Nairobi on 18 July.
The focus of the PoweringJobs campaign is on understanding the job creation opportunities that accompany the growth in clean energy markets, particularly solar PV where Kenya is a regional leader.
The event was also used to launch a new collaboration between UNEP DTU Partnership and Power for All, backed by a collaboration agreement signed in June this year. This partnership seeks to address the issues for creating a job-ready workforce for the renewable energy sector as well as for creating the conditions for local firms to upgrade in the global value chain of clean technologies and this way capture larger shares of the investments in this sector.
More than 70 participants from across government, the private sector and academia joined the event and the launch of the new campaign and collaboration with H.E Raila Odinga, African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development as keynote speaker.
UNEP DTU Partnership provides complementary research and analysis
UNEP DTU Partnership’s engagement in the PoweringJobs campaing and the collaboration with Power for All is strengthened by a new project on technology, markets and investment for low carbon and climate resilient development, known as TEMARIN which will operate in Kenya and Uganda until the end of 2021.
The TEMARIN project will provide analytical insights and convert these into specific recommendations on how local private clean energy companies can increase their share of the global value chain, and maximise local job creation while reducing investment costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The work in Kenya is managed by UNEP DTU Partnership researcher Mathilde Brix Pedersen, who stated that “our research complements the focus of Power for All and their data driven advocacy approach on PoweringJobs very well. We will pursue a deep dive and qualitative analysis of initially the roof-top solar PV market, and generate data on the workforce upgrading potentials that is seen is this segment where Power for All is mostly concerned with the rural off-grid market”.
She added “the event triggered lively discussions, revealing a strong interest within government about the wider social and economic benefits that clean energy technologies provide, and a clear desire among private sector actors to expand these markets and scale up investment. Our job as researchers is to measure these benefits and identify new partnership models, including opportunities to access source of climate finance to help de-risk future investment”.
UNEP DTU Partnership is furthermore engaged with a number of other projects in Kenya, including a collaboration with the Ministry of Energy to provide inputs to a national energy efficiency strategy.