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Renewable energy in Kenya

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Title: Renewable energy in Kenya  
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Subject: Energy in Kenya, Geothermal power in Kenya, Hydroelectric power in Kenya, Economy of Kenya, Solar power in Thailand
Collection: Economy of Kenya, Electric Power in Kenya, Renewable Energy in Kenya
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Renewable energy in Kenya

The renewable energy sector in Kenya is among the most active in Africa. In Kenya, investment grew from virtually zero in 2009 to US$1.3 billion in 2010 across technologies such as wind, geothermal, small-scale hydro and biofuels. This is not saying that Kenya was never active in the renewable energy sector. Kenya is Africa's first geothermal power producer[1] and the world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita. It is still the largest producer of geothermal power in Africa today at 200 MW [2] with only one other African country producing geothermal power, Ethiopia. Connectivity to the national grid in Kenya currently stands at 28%. In 2011, Kenya was also the first country in Africa to open a carbon exchange.[3]



  • Geothermal power 1
  • Hydroelectricity 2
  • Solar power 3
  • Wind power 4
  • Renewable future targets 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Geothermal power

See main article: Geothermal power in Kenya

Currently geothermal energy accounts for 20% of total installed capacity of the Kenyan grid. Kenya is the first African country to tap geothermal power and the largest producer of geo-energy, harnessing power from steam released by hot rocks beneath the Rift valley. The abundant sun and wind are also being harnessed in a variety of projects: of these, the Lake Turkana project is the most audacious, both because of the scale and the location.[5] Kenya has the capacity to produce 10 GW of geothermal energy.[6]

Geothermal has a prominent place in Kenya’s overarching development plans. These include the Vision 2030, the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), and the current ‘5000+ MW in 40 months initiative’. Geothermal power has the potential to provide reliable, cost-competitive, baseload power with a small carbon footprint, and reduces vulnerability to climate by diversifying power supply away from hydropower, which currently provides the majority of Kenya’s electricity. Kenya has set out ambitious targets for geothermal energy. It aims to expand its geothermal power production capacity to 5,000 MW by 2030, with a medium-term target of installing 1,887 MW by 2017. As of October 2014, Kenya has an installed geothermal capacity of approximately 340 MW. Although there is significant political will and ambition, reaching these ambitions is a major challenge [7]


See main article: Hydroelectric power in Kenya

Hydro Power accounts for 49.7% of Kenya's energy needs.

Source Capacity (MW) Capacity %
Hydro 761 49.7%
Fossil Fuels 525 34.2%
Geothermal 198 12.9%
Bagasse Cogeneration 26 2.4%
Wind 5.45 0.36%
Isolated Grid 18 1.15%
Total 1,533 100%
* Energy Portal Kenya. Source:[1]

Solar power

Kenyans, are the world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita. More Kenyans are turning to solar power every year rather than make connections to the country’s electric grid. This is due to the high connectivity costs to the grid and because there is an abundance of solar power in Kenya.[8]

Safaricom sells solar phones in Kenya.

Wind power

KenGen Wind Power, Ngong
See main article: Wind power in Kenya

Renewable future targets

Kenya aims to produce 19,200 MW against a demand of 15,000 MW by 2030. All this is shown in the table below:

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ INSIDE STORY: Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to accelerate geothermal power: Lessons from Kenya
  8. ^

External links

  • Renewable Energy Portal (Kenya)
  • Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (Kenya)
  • Energy Regulatory Commission (Kenya)
  • Geothermal Development Company (Kenya)
  • Kenya Power
  • KenGen
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