Renewable Energy Is Kenya’s Priority

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Kenya is approximately 54.65 million people[1]. In 2018, 75.0% of the people in this east African country had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Kenya’s economy was ranked 65th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of tea, cut flowers, coffee, spices, titanium ore, fruits, and vegetables.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Kenya signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below a “business as usual” scenario.

In 2018, Kenya enacted the National Climate Change Action Plan which was developed to achieve low carbon climate resilient development and enhance climate resilience of vulnerable groups.

In 2019, Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) used renewable energy (86.2%), petroleum (10.8%), and natural gas (3.0%) to generate electricity in the country[5]. Geothermal, hydropower, and wind, are the primary sources of renewable energy in Kenya.

Recent renewable energy projects in Kenya include:

  • 100 MW Wind Farm – In January 2021, African renewable power company, BioTherm Energy commissioned the Kipeto wind farm, which is located approximately 50 miles south of the capital, Nairobi.
  • 105 MW Geothermal Project – Quantum Power East Africa is continuing work on the Menengai II geothermal project, which is located approximately 175 miles northwest of Nairobi. British independent power company, Globeleq Generation Limited recently purchased a 70% interest in this project.
  • 5 MW Hydropower Project – In September 2020, Kenya’s National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority commence construction on Koru-Soin hydropower project, which is located approximately 220 miles northwest of Nairobi.
  • 5 MW Solar Park – In December 2020, Kenyan company Marco Borero commissioned the Nyeri solar project, which is located approximately 60 miles north of Nairobi.
  • 0.69 MW Floating Solar Project – In March 2021, German renewable energy company, ecoligo GmbH commissioned a floating solar project, which is located approximately 50 miles northwest of Nairobi. The solar project will provide power to the Rift Valley Roses flower farm.

Conclusions

Kenya has significant undeveloped geothermal, hydropower, wind, and solar energy potential. Unlike most developed and undeveloped countries, Kenya has made the development of renewable energy a national priority.

Kenya is one of the few countries in the world on track to meet its commitments in the Paris Climate Paris Accord. The county is also on track to meet’s goal of generating 100% of its electrical power by 2030.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

[1] Kenya Population (2011) –  April 1, 2021 www.worldometers.info

[2] Kenya – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] International Energy Agency – Kenya Energy Outlook, November 22, 2019

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