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The power sector in Kenya is essentially dominated by petroleum and electricity, with wood gas offering the basic power needs of the rural communities, city poor, and the informal sector. An evaluation of the national vitality exhibits heavy dependency on wood fuel and other biomass that account for sixty eight% of the overall vitality consumption (petroleum 22%, electricity 9%, others account for 1%). Electricity access in Kenya is low despite the government ambitious goal to extend electricity connectivity from the current 15% to at the least 65% by the year 2022.[1]

Vitality Scenario

... Administration PADD 3 - Texas Inland - by U.S. Energy Information AdministrationKenya has an put in capability of 2.3 GW. While about 57% is hydro energy, about 32% is thermal and the remaining includes geothermal and emergency thermal energy. Photo voltaic PV and Wind energy play a minor function contributing less than 1%. However, hydropower has ranged from 38-76% of the era combine on account of poor rainfall. Thermal energy sources have been used to make up for these shortfalls, varying between 16-33% of the mix[2]

Kenya present efficient put in (grid linked) electricity capability is 1,429 MW. Electricity provide is predominantly sourced from hydro and fossil gasoline (thermal) sources. This technology energy mix includes 52.1% from hydro, 32.5% from fossil fuels, 13.2% from geothermal, 1.Eight% from biogas cogeneration and 0.4% from wind, respectively. Current electricity demand is 1,600 MW and is projected to grow to 2,600-3600 MW by 2020.

Households in Kenya use the next source for lighting:

As of 2007, the contribution of the power sector to the overall tax revenue was about 20%, equal to four% of GDP. The sector supplies direct and oblique employment to an estimated sixteen,000 individuals[3].

It costs approximately Ksh 35,000 (EUR 318.18) to connect to the national grid and about 0.1145 EUR equal per kWh of electricity service. These are relatively high prices that pose a major impediment to the expansion of electricity connections to low-earnings households and small companies, which can due to this fact benefit from decentralized different sources of vitality, resembling photo voltaic.

Renewable Energy

The document of the national utility Kenya Energy and Mild Firm (KPLC) in rural electrification could be very poor, with solely 0.94% of rural households related in 2002 [Karekezi et al, 2004]. Between 1993 and 2001 the number of rural households elevated by 1.4 Million, whilst the number of rural households connected to the grid increased by only 24,000. Therefore, the speed of grid-based rural electrification is way under the speed of improve in potential prospects, despite a levy on electricity payments to fund it. Progressive approaches to off-grid electrification are serving to to make up for the lack of grid-based rural electrification. One of many makes an attempt to address this is the institution of the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in 2006 which now manages the rural electrification programme.


Resulting from increased poverty, there may be a major shift to non-traded traditional biomass fuels. The proportion of households consuming biomass has risen to 83% from 73% in 1980. As of 2007,Biomass Vitality Resources in Kenya, i.e. firewood, charcoal and agricultural wastes contributed approx. as much as 70% of Kenya final vitality demand and provided for almost ninety% of rural family vitality wants, about one third within the form of charcoal and the remainder from firewood.

Charcoal, firewood, paraffin, and LPG continue to be the main sources of cooking fuel. On the national degree sixty eight.Eight% of the households use firewood as the main cooking gas. Almost 90% of the rural inhabitants depends on firewood for cooking and heating, whilst in urban areas roughly 10% of the inhabitants use firewood. Firewood is more and more equipped from non-public smallholder lands and farm woodlots. Charcoal, however, is mainly an urban gas, 82% of urban households depend upon it as a part of their vitality combine, in comparison with 34% of households using charcoal in rural areas. It’s estimated that Kenyans now consume 2.4 million tons of charcoal each year[2]. A national charcoal survey confirmed that in 2004/2005 about 200,000 producers produced 1.6 million tons of charcoal, but only 45% of them claimed to be actively concerned in resource generation[4]. One set of biomass users includes instructional establishments (major and secondary colleges, as well as colleges). Of Kenya 20,000 instructional establishments, about 90% use wood gasoline to arrange meals[5]. Resulting from rising petroleum prices, not too long ago also the trade gained extra curiosity in wood based mostly fuels[four]

Charcoal is produced inefficiently using tradition earth kilns whose efficiency range between 103% but larger recoveries of between 30-40% have been achieved utilizing brick kilns. Biomass comes from various forest formations similar to closed forest, woodlands,bushlands, wooded grasslands,farms with natural vegetation and mixtures of native and exotic timber, industrial and gas wood plantations, and residues from agricultural crops and wood-based mostly industries. Nonetheless, although there are apparently massive wooden volumes obtainable from the varied vegetation types, not all of it is accessible for vitality.Accessible wood depends on a number of things equivalent to authorized points, environmental points, ownership, aims of management, distance, and infrastructure[2]. Additionally, many of the population are engaged in manufacturing, transformation, transportation and sale of wood and charcoal, making it certainly one of crucial sources of paid livelihood. Because of this woody biomass is diminishing attributable to poor administration and utilization in unsustainable ways. Authorities ministries are supporting in one way or the other the sustainable manufacturing of energy crops, commerce of charcoal and the dissemination of improved cooking stoves.

Kenya has the potential for era of electricity from biomass sources generated from agricultural wastes from the sugar cane (biogas), sisal, timber (sawdust) and meat industries[2]. The development of a bioenergy business can enhance energy safety, scale back power imports, and promote the agricultural and forestry sector by adding worth to traditional crops. It further performs an necessary position in off-grid electrification of rural regions, can deliver health advantages and reduce stress on the atmosphere. Nevertheless, biomass feedstock can even endanger ecosystems and biodiversity, particularly when being cultivated in monocultures. In plantations, giant quantities of water are needed for irrigation and agrochemicals should often be added which might result in water pollution. Subsequently, it is crucial to discover a steadiness between opportunity maximization and threat minimization for which a well-defined regulatory framework is important[6].

Although conventional biomass dominates the power panorama, little or no price range is supplied for analysis, development and dissemination for heat and drought resistant crops, biofuels and trendy biomass energy use. While some progress has been made in disseminating efficient wooden and charcoal stoves, more needs to be executed to constructing extra variety and strengthening the resilience of the vitality system.


Although there are a number of thousand biodigesters installed in Kenya, most of them operate beneath capacity or are at the moment in disuse attributable to administration, technical, socio-cultural or economic problems.

Biogas is widely utilized in establishments attributable to their high potential of waste utilization for biogas generation. Several pilot programms have been established.[7]

For additional info, please confer with the next articles.

Biomass Stoves: Case Study

The energy-saving institutional stove project in the Mt. Kenya Area involved changing open fire cooking systems in schools with heavy-obligation, brick-insulated stainless steel stoves that require 60 – 70% much less firewood. In doing so, faculties save cash on gas costs and scale back smoke and emissions. In schools where children must gather firewood, using more efficient stoves permits children to spend extra time studying.[5]

Policy and Framework

National bioenergy targets:

The Energy Act, 2006: Municipal stable waste, renewable vitality sources, co-era for power production, manufacturing and use of gasohol and biodiesel shall be promoted by the Minister of Vitality and the Rural Electrification Authority.

The Vitality Rules, 2012: facility homeowners need to undertake vitality audits, investment plans and measures for vitality savings.


Hydropower is the single largest era supply for grid electricity in Kenya providing some 677 MW of the entire put in grid capacity. As of 2007, a 60 MW hydro generation plant was being developed on the Sondu Miriu with an extra 20 MW planned for 2008. With the exception of Turkwell Gorge (Rift Valley) and Sondu Miriu (Lake Victoria) some 470 MW or 70% of the full developed hydro capability lies on the Tana River alone, a conspicuous over reliance.

See: Hydropower Potential in Kenya

Solar Power

Kenya has excessive insolation rates with a mean of 5-7 peak sunshine hours (The equivalent number of hours per day when photo voltaic irradiance averages 1,000 W/m2), and receives an average daily insolation of 4-6kWh/m2. Only 10-14% of this vitality can be converted into electricity as a result of conversion effectivity of PV modules.

On twelfth June 2014 the magazine “Various Vitality Africa” published:Kenya to Cease Taxing Solar. Kenya introduced a VAT on photo voltaic merchandise totaling 16% in Q3 2013, but the government has now decided that it’s going to dismiss this tax in a move to chop price of renewable energy products. MP John Mbadi introduced the motion to nix the VAT in April, with it taking impact on Might 30. Solar products in Kenya had been already on the rise, and now anticipate to see much more products particularly within the off-grid area develop even more.

Stand-alone PV programs symbolize the least-cost possibility for electrifying homes in lots of rural areas, especially the sparsely populated arid and semi-arid lands. 鈥淪olar residence systems(SHSs) are sensible for offering small amounts of electricity to households past distribution networks.The methods sometimes include a ten 50 Watt peak (Wp) PV module and a battery generally coupled with a charge controller, wiring, lights, and connections to small appliances (resembling a radio, tv, or cell phones). Different PV applications embrace water pumping, telecommunications and cathodic protection for pipelines, power supply to off-grid non-industrial institutions and off-grid small business institutions.

Kenya has one of the lively business PV system market in the creating world, with an put in PV capacity within the vary of four MW. An estimated 200,000 rural households in Kenya have photo voltaic dwelling methods and annual PV sales in Kenya are between 25,000-30,000 PV modules. In 2002, whole PV gross sales were estimated to have been 750 kWp and have grown by 170% in 8 yrs, even with out government intervention or insurance policies to promote the uptake of PV expertise.

As compared, the Kenya Rural Electrification Fund, which prices all electricity customers 5% of the value of their month-to-month electricity consumption (at present an estimated 16 million US$ yearly), is responsible for 70,000 connections. With access to loans and price-for-service arrangements, estimates suggest that the SHS market may reach up to 50% or extra of un-electrified rural homes.

Since 2006-2007, the Ministry of Energy has been actively selling use of solar energy for off grid electrification. Specifically, it has funded the solar for colleges programme and is concentrating on to extend this to off grid clinics and dispensaries. Grid connected PV methods overlaying an space of 15-20 km2(three% of the Nairobi space) may provide 3801 GWh of electrical power a yr, equivalent to the full grid electricity gross sales for Kenya in 2002-2003. The costs, nonetheless, are prohibitive[2].There are about 4 million households in rural Kenya alone which current a vast potential for this nearly untapped know-how. The off grid market is estimated to be over 40MW.

Photo voltaic Home Programs (SHS)

An estimated 200,000 rural households in Kenya have photo voltaic dwelling methods. This success has been largely because of non-public sector activity. The high degree of uptake has been by the sale of merchandise that best fit the buying power of rural households, and by making these merchandise obtainable within the mobility vary of potential prospects, sometimes lower than 40km from the customers residence[8] .

In mature market areas, reminiscent of central and western Kenya, between 20 and forty% of households have methods. Most models are in the facility vary of 10 to 20 Wp. With costs being as low as US$50, the products have been inexpensive by medium class families with out a need for subsidies and credit. However, monetary assistance will probably be vital for poorer households to have the ability to afford an SHS. Most of the SHS traders started promoting these merchandise within the nineteen nineties.

As the Kenyan business tradition is mainly primarily based upon imitation, once a number of outlets had been satisfied by the Nairobi based mostly distributors, businessmen everywhere in the country replicated their success by promoting methods. The level of competition is excessive with over 800 rural outlets, and by buying around even the least knowledgeable finish-person will buy at an inexpensive worth. Data from associates and family members is presently the main supply that new prospects turn to for advice on one of the best system to use, as the shopkeepers are hardly ever trusted. Extra must be carried out to each help prospects understand the importance of purchasing high quality systems and to assist purchasers to determine them. The high level of sales demonstrates the effectiveness and effectivity that the non-public sector can deliver to disseminating SHS success that has yet to be matched by any utility or donor programme.

Solar Hybrid mini-grids

Currently (as of 2016), solely about 50 % of the Kenyan individuals have entry to electricity. In remote areas electrification rates may be as little as 5 percent. Enhancing the entry to trendy power companies in rural areas stays a serious improvement priority. In order to attain this objective complementary solutions to grid extension, corresponding to solar-hybrid mini-grids are vital.

The GIZ venture Promotion of Photo voltaic-Hybrid Mini-Grids (GIZ ProSolar) aims at promoting mini-grid electrification of remote areas in Kenya with the participation of non-public sector. The imaginative and prescient is to extend levels of value-effective, affordable and sustainable rural electrification by way of non-public sector management.


– The Talek Energy mini-grid is a pilot project arrange in Talek in close cooperation with the Narok County Government and the German Agro Motion. The mini-grid consists of a 50 kW photo voltaic-hybrid generation power plant, combining PV modules, battery packs and a diesel generator. The pilot exams the social and financial viability of mini-grids and serves as a learning scheme for stakeholders.

– A complicated training course has been developed for solar technicians, qualifying them to install hybrid photo voltaic techniques in villages. The technicians obtain their hands-on coaching at a 10kW solar-hybrid demonstration system, which was installed at Strathmore College.

– Sensible handbooks for site part, licensing, system sizing and financing of mini-grids, which share classes learned from practical testing, have been developed in collaboration with government institutions.

– ProSolar assisted Marsabit and Turkana Counties in the development of energy sector plans, which serve as a benchmark in strategizing, mapping and monitoring the distribution and use of power inside the county. Furthermore, the MoEP has been supported in creating a coherent framework for county power sector plans.

– In a competitive tendering course of personal developers have been selected to receive financing via the Result-based-funding (RBF) part for growing three mini-grids in Turkana County.

Photo voltaic Energy: Case Study

In 1995, the US-based group ‘Solar Cookers Worldwide’ (SCI) started a pilot project in Kakuma that addressed this drawback by offering refugees with portable, lightweight photo voltaic cookers referred to as ‘CooKits’. The mission Photo voltaic Cookers: Growth of Solar Cooking Program at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya distributed the CooKits and taught folks how to make use of them successfully. The intention was to display that solar cooking was a practical various that might save both money and wood.

Wind Energy

The Equatorial areas are assumed to have poor to medium wind useful resource. This might be a common sample for Kenya. However, some topography specifics (channeling and hill effects because of the presence of the Rift Valley and numerous mountain and highland areas) have endowed Kenya with some excellent wind regime areas. The North West of the nation (Marsabit and Turkana districts) and the edges of the Rift Valley are the 2 massive windiest areas (common wind speeds above 9 m/s at 50 m high). The coast can also be a spot of curiosity though the wind useful resource is expected to be decrease (about 5-7 m/s at 50 m high). Many other local mountain spots offer good wind circumstances. As a consequence of monsoon affect, some seasonal variations on wind useful resource are expected (low winds between Could and August in Southern Kenya).

It is predicted that about 25% of the nation is suitable with present wind expertise. The primary challenge is the restricted information of the Kenyan wind useful resource. The meteorological station data are fairly unreliable while fashionable measurement campaigns have began recently for investigating wind park locations. Kenya has 35 metrological stations which can be unfold all around the nation. Data gathered is not enough to provide detailed resolutions on account of sparse station network.

There is important potential to use wind energy for grid related wind farms, remoted grids (through wind-diesel hybrid systems) and off-grid neighborhood electricity and water pumping. Kenya has lately skilled a surge in wind vitality installations for electricity generation. The largest windfarm (300MW) in Africa is being constructed in Turkana space of North Western Kenya. The Ngong hills area of close to Nairobi additionally has 5.1 MW installed and several other MW planned by personal buyers. A mean of eighty-100 small wind turbines (four hundred W) have been put in thus far, usually as part of a Photovoltaic (PV)-Wind hybrid system with battery storage.

Wind pumps are more common than wind turbines, 2 native companies manufacture and set up wind pumps. As of 2007, the variety of installations was within the range of 300-350[2].

Wind Vitality: Case Research

Two manufacturers in Kenya have pioneered the native manufacture of wind pumps and wind generators in Kenya, Bobs Harries Engineering Limited (BHEL) and Craftskills Entreprises, and are offering native energy options for off grid households and institutions.[5]

Geothermal Energy

Kenya is endowed with geothermal assets mainly situated within the Rift Valley. It’s estimated conservatively that the Kenya Rift has a possible of higher than 2000 MW of geothermal Power. Geothermal utilization first started by drilling two wells in 1956 in Olkaria I and was followed by elevated curiosity within the 1970s. Preliminary manufacturing started in 1981 when the first plant of 15MW was commissioned in Olkaria I .At present 45MW is generated by Olkaria I geothermal power station, 70 MW by Olkaria II (each operated by KenGen) and an IPP is producing 12Mwe at Olkaria III. KenGen and the IPP produce a complete of 129 MW of geothermal vitality and this is expected to increase to 576MWe inside the next 20 years. The nationwide geothermal potential is estimated at between 7,000 and 10,000 MW.

In Kenya’s Least Value Power Growth Plan, geothermal energy has been recognized as a value efficient power option and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) was set up to fast observe harnessing Kenya’s vast resources. Explorations for geothermal power within the excessive potential areas of the Kenyan Rift are actually ongoing. KenGen, along with the Ministry of Vitality performed surface scientific research in Suswa, Longonot, Eburru, Menengai, Arus and Bogoria, Lake Baringo space, Korosi and Chepchuk, and Paka. Preliminary outcomes indicate important potential of geothermal energy in these prospects. Six exploratory wells were drilled at Eburru. Recent studies present that the Eburru area can maintain 25 MW of electric energy. Extra exploration work is anticipated to start in Silali in September 2007. Other excessive potential areas earmarked for additional exploration work in the north rift embrace Emurauangogolak, Barrier volcanoes, Namarunu volcanic subject, and Badlands Volcanic field and Lake Magadi geothermal area in the South, among others. The GDC is now accountable for their improvement.

Fossil Fuels[2]

Petroleum is Kenya major source of economic energy and has, through the years, accounted for about eighty% of the country commercial power necessities. In 2006, four.Four million cubic meters in petroleum products have been bought in Kenya. Of this 420,000 m3 was kerosene and sixty eight,000 m3 was LPG. Whole petroleum consumption in Kenya has grown from 2.6 million cubic meters in 2003 to 3.Seventy three million cubic meters in 2006. The consumption maintains an upward trend. As of 2009, demand for petroleum products was three,656 thousand tonnes. As of 2007, Kenya had one refinery, the Mombassa refinery, with a nameplate capacity of 90,000 barrels per day. Since its fee the refinery has not operated at full capability.

As of 2007 there were 4 potential petroleum basins in Kenya, about 30 exploration wells had been drilled and though none has encountered a industrial discovery, a number of drill stem exams have recovered or examined gasoline. In 2012 significant oil reserves were found in North Western Kenya. Studies are nonetheless being carried out to establish the financial feasibility.


Consumption of LPG has elevated by about fifty nine% between 2003-2008 from 40,000 to eighty,000 metric tons/12 months. The Kenya Petroleum Refinery makes about 30, 000 metric tons of LPG and to stability growing demand reliance on imported LPG has elevated. However, there are plans underway to improve the refinery to make a hundred and fifteen,000 metric tons of LPG.

The Ministry of Power has recognized two areas with attainable commercially exploitable portions of coal. These are the Mui basin of Kitui and Mwingi Districts and Taru basin of Kwale and Kilifi Districts. As of 2007, 10 wells have been drilled in Mui basin with encouraging results indicating attainable existence of economic quantities of coal.

Key Problems of the Vitality Sector

Solely 6% of Kenya’s land is forest. Large areas of those forest resources are not accessible resulting from legal or environmental restrictions, possession, administration points, distances or infrastructure.[Four] Fuelwood demand within the nation is 35 million tons per 12 months whereas its supply is 15 million tons per 12 months, representing a deficit of 20 million tons[2]. The massive deficit in fuelwood supply has led to high charges of deforestation in both exotic and indigenous vegetation ensuing to hostile environmental results comparable to desertification, land degradation, droughts and famine among others. It’s in an effort to scale back these problems that PSDA by means of collaboration with other Improvement Partners initiated romotion of Improved Energy Stovesin January 2006. Nevertheless, a excessive inhabitants share nonetheless makes use of firewood for cooking greater than 80% of the inhabitants use conventional three stones know-how for a similar.

In the primary section of the EnDev programme, GTZ disseminated a big amount of improved cook stoves (ICS). In addition GTZ promoted the uptake of ICSs by establishments. However, many people with out improved stoves still have no idea the place to get them although they categorical need to acquire them. Current improved stove production centres don’t meet the demands of the brand new project areas, especially within the arid and semi-arid areas which want them greater than any other regions in the country. This has largely contributed to unsustainable harvesting of biomass with negative impacts on the atmosphere and poor well being among customers as a result of excessive inhalation of noxious gases. Up-scaling of improved cook stoves is subsequently mandatory.

Policy Framework, Legal guidelines and Regulations

The power coverage for Kenya was formulated in 2004, but lately high oil prices and want for vitality safety have grow to be extra urgent drivers for different vitality. This may occasionally name for re-evaluation and update of the coverage and strategy. For Kenya, high oil costs and the necessity to increase total energy per capita supply are strong motivators for growth of alternative forms of energy. Transportation fuels stay essentially the most emotive of all power segments, especially when prices are going up, as this is the place lifestyles and livelihoods are visibly impacted. Various vitality is just not solely focusing on economics alone, but also looks at safety of provide and ther social economic benefits to the country.

Plenty of choices are being thought of:

Up until the 7th of October 2004, when the Sessional Paper No. Four was handed in parliament, Kenya operated and not using a complete vitality policy.

Three key legislations which have been in application all addressing the business power sub sector:

In addition to those, there are different legislations related to operations within the power sector:

The related coverage and authorized framework for solar vitality in Kenya consists of:

The brand new Vitality Act 2006, units out the Nationwide Policies and techniques for brief to long-term vitality improvement. Whether or not or not it’s satisfactory to fulfill Kenya imaginative and prescient of rising as a newly industrialized country by 2020 stays to be seen. Sturdy regulatory and legislative frameworks are required to handle the actions required to attain this imaginative and prescient. TheEnergy Regulatory Commission (ERC) was established as an Vitality Sector Regulator beneath the Vitality Act of 2006 in July 2007. ERC is a single sector regulatory company, with duty for economic and technical regulation of electric energy, renewable power, and downstream petroleum sub-sectors, together with tariff setting and review, licensing, enforcement, dispute settlement.

The broad objective of the brand new Vitality Policy is to ensure the supply of satisfactory, high quality, value-effective, affordable supply of power whereas ascertaining environmental conservation[3].

Kenya doesn’t provide incentives or subsidies for family photo voltaic PV systems. Though some strides have been made to enhance energy effectivity and renewable vitality in Kenya by the government, some planned reforms within the Vitality Act are but to be effected. These embody:

Stockholm Setting Institute (SEI) carried out a study on the economic impacts of climate change in Kenya in 2009 and located that the country greenhouse gas emissions are rising shortly. The energy sector emissions are estimated to have elevated by as much as 50% over the past decade. As such, Kenya Climate Change Response Technique is eager to reduce these impacts by means of various avenues together with promoting use of environmentally pleasant energy.

Identified Key Challenges

The coverage has identified various key challenges these include[3]:

Strategic Actions

In step with reaching the policy objectives strategic actions need to be taken:

In addition, power planning actions ought to combine socio-financial, cultural and environmental points, which is simply doable via robust hyperlinks between coverage makers, implementers and researchers – analysis findings are infrequently integrated during the choice making means of policy development.

Although economic survey findings, and findings from donor funded initiatives or research have been used as references in policy improvement, whether or not or not these are adequate is questionable. Little attention is paid to University based mostly research findings. These research are often the source of financial survey knowledge, however receive little or no recognition. Policy makers have to actively have interaction researchers and there’s great want to maneuver in the direction of proof primarily based coverage and decision-making – policymaking just isn’t an experimental course of[three].

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The new Energy Policy

The brand new Energy Policy is because of the government recognizing that the vitality sector plays a key function within the achievement of GoK socio-financial strategies. It lays the coverage framework for the provision of value-efficient, affordable and satisfactory quality power companies on a sustainable foundation.

Some of the key policy proposals are:

Legal and Regulatory Framework

Institutional Preparations

Power Buying and selling Preparations

Power Security

The Vitality Act 2006 is a consolidation of the Electric Energy Act and the Petroleum Act 2000, and has a bit on petroleum and a bit on electricity. The energy policy already recognizes the biomass sector and the way biomass regulation needs to be done by way of pricing and units a great foundation for drafting the biomass plan. It also recognizes the significance of renewable vitality and power efficiency[three].