Chris Mbori won the Young Professional Energy Engineer 2016 at the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington DC. He was feted for his innovative energy initiatives and projects spearheaded by his company Eenovators. The 30 year old engineer graduate from Moi University had a one-on-one session with Carolyne Gathuru on what account for his successes and why energy transformation excites him. The following is an excerpt of the conversation, edited for length and clarity.
What does winning this award mean to you?
It means a lot to me that our efforts to promote professionalism, innovation and integrity in the energy business are being recognized. This award is a testament of the efforts that my team members at Eenovators are making, towards energizing the world through innovative solutions.
You are a CEO at 30; tell us how you’ve been able to achieve this?
I cut a niche for myself. Over the years, right from when I was still Moi University studying engineering, I had been observing the energy industry and I realized that there was great untapped potential here in Kenya and in the region at large. Energy management in this country holds great potential for interventions for change. I have surrounded myself with powerful mentors and I have also been a mentor to many others. It is by having a great support system and an incredible team that I have been able to come this far.
Kenya shone brightly at the World Energy Engineering Congress ahead of all other countries in Africa. Why is that?
Yes indeed we did. The strides that Kenya has made over the years in the energy sector are drawn from the country’s implementation of very stringent energy regulations. These regulations have compelled both the public and private sectors to innovatively pursue and implement energy sustainability initiatives. Kenyans are also naturally wired for excellence and pursue positive involvement in developmental initiatives.
For instance, the Energy Management Regulations 2012 requires all designated facilities to carry out an energy audit every three years, and to submit audit reports and implementation plans to ERC for approval. This has significantly raised awareness on the need for organizations to be conscious to their energy usage and to implement energy saving measures to lower costs and increase profitability.
What strides is Kenya taking in renewable energy sector?
Kenya has for a long time relied on hydropower and other non-renewable sources of energy. However, the past 10 years have seen the focus on the renewable sources such as wind, geothermal and solar energy generation effort amplified. These efforts were recognized during the World Energy Engineering Congress with the 280 MW Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant awarded as the Innovative Energy Project of the Year in Sub Saharan Africa.
The Energy Regulatory Commission has played a major role in ensuring Kenya stays ahead of the pack in Africa. Tell us more about that.
The key driver of the Kenyan energy industry has been the regulations by the Energy Regulatory Commission. As a result of these regulations, Kenya has made great strides in energy management and renewable energy with organizations being required to implement energy efficiency initiatives after conducting an energy audit.
What has the role of the Association of Energy Engineers, who facilitated the awards, been in shaping the energy industry in Kenya?
The Association of Energy Engineers has an affiliate known as the Association of Energy Professionals in East Africa (AEPEA). AEPEA was established to strengthen the capacity of energy engineers in the country so as to meet the growing demand as informed by the recent dynamics in the energy sector. Seeing as the industry is growing and the power demand increasing, bringing together energy engineers for professional development is very crucial and that is the mandate of AEPEA.
What contribution is your company Eenovators making in the energy industry?
Eenovators was established three years ago with a view to offer innovative and reliable energy efficiency solutions across Africa. We focus on offering reliable opportunities to resolve energy challenges, through energy conservation strategies that ensure sustainable outcomes for our clients. We are taking charge of energy transformation in Africa, and I am deeply honored to be part of this revolution.
As a family man, how are you able to balance running a company and being a husband and father?
My family is what inspires me to do what I do. My wife has been my greatest support and we work together at Eenovators. Our daughter is the star in our lives. She inspires us to want to do more for the world. I am also able to balance my work and life because of the great support from my team at Eenovators.
Your parting shot?
Energy is fundamental part of human existence. We have all been mandated to conserve the future of mankind through energy conservation. Let’s all play our part in ensuring that energy is available for future generations. I believe that this award is just but a milestone in our continuing journey to foster great partnerships that will benefit the energy industry and foster sustainable development.
Carolyne Gathuru is an accomplished brand specialist, marketing strategist and founder of LifeSkills Consulting. She is an ardent customer service practitioner with over 15 years experience. Email: email@example.com