The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) introduced punitive rules that could stifle the mass switch to cheap solar power by ordinary Kenyans.

EPRA demands a bachelor’s degree or three courses in engineering to operate as a solar power technician if the new guidelines drafted by the energy regulator are implemented.

This comes in the backdrop of a massive shift by Kenyans and heavy consumers that has left Kenya Power in financial difficulties.

The Solar Photovoltaic Systems Regulations, 2020 seeks to make it a harder and more expensive to manufacture, import, install or maintain solar components and systems and make consumers stick to the expensive and unreliable national power grid.

According to EPRA, the permits will be granted, based on the capacity of the system to be installed.

Solar technicians will pay Sh2,250 to Sh6,000 in order to get and renew their licences, while contractors will pay Sh3,000 to Sh6,000.