SID Futures Roundtable: Emerging alternative energy futures and Kenya 2050

Seizing the opportunity of an emerging energy revolution to build shared value for citizens, businesses and the country

Recent fossil fuel discoveries in Eastern Africa have raised expectations about future revenues. Governments have begun to undertake massive development projects, which hitherto could only be dreamt of. However, the volatility of global markets and declining price of fossil fuels raise concerns about the viability of these plans. Compare this to the rise of new technologies and alternative energy sources - lower price of solar photovoltaics, growing proliferation of wind and geothermal energy sources. Faced with such options investors around the world are increasingly wary of the carbon constraint and certain companies are already shifting strategy. Old energy scenarios now look increasingly vulnerable

The Society for International Development (SID) and University of Turku/Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), as the Millennium Project East Africa and Helsinki Nodes (MP) respectively hosted a one-day meeting (Nairobi, Septermber 24th) bringing together private sector, policymakers, civil society organizations and researchers to envision possible futures of a new development phase, its lifestyles and services based on radically alternative and transformative energy futures in Kenya.

The region today faces a unique opportunity to begin to explore alternative energy futures to understand the role energy will play and what development prospects could emerge - as well as the implications for public policy and investment. There are weak signals of renewable energy futures where production and consumption increasingly take place at the grassroots level. Future local systems of solar, wind and energy storage together with information and communication technologies could promote a peer-to-peer societythat harnesses the opportunities of increasinglydistributed models of operation.

The event has been moderated by SID and FFRCexperts. A wide range of participants attended the forum including Academia, Strathmore Energy Research Centre, GAPCO, Vivo Energy, CSOs supporting Energy Sector, Energy Specialists* .