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KETRACO taps scholars’ brains at energy conference

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True wisdom comes when knowledge finds its way in reality via application.

It is this sort of wisdom that the energy sector is seeking, with the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) hosting its first ever annual research conference.

The conference saw scholars congregate with energy sector partners at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi on May 31.

According to KETRACO Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa, the conference came about through the recognition of the need to expand and develop knowledge within the field.

“Research is an undisputed engineer and catalyst for developement,” he said during the opening session of the conference. “This is an acceptance that R & D (research and development) plays a very critical role and we want to make this as part of our management policy”

According to the KETRACO MD, the company will hold a research conference annually, and the theme will be formulated based on the challenges and key initiatives.

High quality proposals will be selected from a call for papers based on the theme on annual. Full research papers will then be presented at the conference with the hope that the research papers are published on the KETRACO working paper series and scientific journals of repute.

“This is a first of its kind, and I guess it will benefit especially those who are looking into venturing into research within the energy sector,” said Josphat Wanjohi, a freelance electrical engineer who attended the event.

While giving his keynote address at the conference, Ministry of Energy Principal Secretary Dr Eng. Joseph Njoroge said that researchers are best placed to educate the public through disseminating of information.

PS Njoroge said academia has the advantage of ” having the ear of the common citizen” and is “independent and known to be the source of knowledge.”

“It is time that we also influence change because we are the best placed people to come up with improvements that will satisfy our purposes in the context of the challenges that we are facing,” he said.

The Energy PS also challenged those within academia to drive innovation within the country.

“We continue to take make use of products borne out of innovation from other countries and yet we have a huge pool of knowledge , experience and skills,” he said.

“We have what it takes to be drivers and initiators of some of those innovations.”

The theme for the first KETRACO research conference was “Enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in the industry.”

Some of the presentations at the conference included papers on drone technology for transmission lines and substation inspections as well as innovative and cost-effective ways of financing and funding transmission lines in Kenya.

Bridging the gap between academia and the industry through a case study of Germany as well as a presentation on the focus of green energy.

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Mike Njoroge
Mike Njorogehttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Mike Njoroge is the founder of Daystar Oracle and FootballTriangle. He is passionate about news, religion and sports. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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