World Bank calls for SGR electrification

Thursday, June 8th, 2023 10:00 | By
Chinese-build SGR train. PHOTO/Courtesy.

The World Bank has called for the electrification of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to ease carbon emissions in a move that may have a direct knock-on effect on the energy sector, especially electricity demand and supply.

Electrifying the SGR as opposed to relying on diesel trains, has the potential to not only reduce emissions in the subsector by half, but also provide a new demand for electricity in the country.

World Bank estimates that complete electrification of the railway system is projected to yield annual emissions savings exceeding 53,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e).

Transportation industry

“Such a reduction would be a significant step toward curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Kenya’s transportation industry,” World Bank officials said in Nairobi yesterday when they released the Kenya Economic Update.

It is also hoped that the electrification of SGR will reduce operating costs since electricity is cheaper than diesel.

The bank also highlighted the importance of implementing complementary measures to improve logistics operations and enhance overall efficiency.

Kenya has the opportunity to mandate additional measures for logistics service providers, improving road conditions, and promoting eco-driving practices.

These initiatives would contribute to further emissions reductions and enhance the sustainability of the transportation sector and grow revenues from carbon credits.

Substantial revenues

“Bilateral carbon trades under the Paris Agreement could potentially provide substantial revenues for Kenya, particularly if prices are reflective of the opportunity cost of additional mitigation action,” the lender added.

To tackle emissions from road transport, the World Bank stressed the need to target engine energy efficiency and other factors, particularly in freight transport. Implementing such measures would have a substantial impact on reducing emissions and promoting sustainability within the industry.

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