A Kenyan is the pioneer Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Energy Regulatory Association of East Africa (EREA).
Dr. Geoffrey Mabea will be based at the EREA head office in Arusha-Tanzania, to serve in the body established to spearhead energy Union for the East African countries as from today January 2nd.
Dr. Mabea who hails from Nyamira County joins EREA from the University of Dundee- UK, where he has been a regional energy markets researcher.
He will serve on contractual basis for four years and his tenure can only be extended based on his performance.
“I hope that as EREA, we will be able to narrow the energy access gap as well as meet the energy demand in the region,” he said.
In a telephone interview, Dr Mabea said that he has published a number of articles in high impact international peer journals among them the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, Dr Mabea co-published an article entitled, Power market Coupling; Towards harmonised Electricity Policies in the East African Community.
According to the advertisement for the position which was placed by the employer early in the year, the CEO will report to the Executive Council and will be responsible for overall management of the association.
Dr Mabea will also initiate and sustain collaboration and cooperation with other regional and international institutions for the benefit of EREA, among several other duties.
Dr Mabea previously worked with PwC Kenya and according to an article published by the EREA, his PhD research quantified the economic welfare of integrating the energy markets for EAC.
He further developed a model for introducing wholesale electricity markets for EAC as well as published on another model for integrating renewable energy into the power system.
An article published in the University of Dundee website said that for his PhD thesis, Geoffrey examined the integration of the electric power markets in East Africa.
“Using mathematical programming software GAMS, he develops an optimization model simulating, a first for East Africa, the economic consequences of electric power market integration, nodal prices, and investments in renewable energy and transmission capacity.
The quest for an integrated energy market in the East Africa Community (EAC) began in mid 2000 when various initiatives through regional organisations-initiated projects that would promote economic development in Africa.
Some key considerations towards having robust energy markets in the regions which should be taken into consideration are the bidding zones, technical standards, TSO regulations and harmonization of policies on power trade in the region etc.
For energy markets integration to be realizable, substantial sector reforms are pertinent and include review of the existing laws and regulations as well as establishment of relevant regional and internal institutions that would make it possible to implement a robust integrated energy market.
The EREA was established to work as a regional entity to facilitate smooth and strategic harmonisation of necessary frameworks as well as providing advisory through; the available pool of experts and initiating capacity building among the National Regulatory Institutions (NRI) of the member countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda).