Renewable Electrification in Kenya: Potentials and Barriers

Dominic Samoita, Arne Remmen, Charles Nzila, Poul Alberg Østergaard

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paperResearchpeer-review

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Kenya mainly depends on oil and hydro sources for electricity supply, however the rivers for
hydropower and their tributaries are found in arid and semi-arid areas with erratic rainfall
leading to frequent problems in stable delivery of electricity in the country. As for oil-based
electricity generation, this is expensive and environmentally harmful. Kenya, however, has great
potential for photo voltaics (PV)-based power generation since it is located near the equator and
it receives plentiful insolation. PV technology is thus a viable option for electricity generation to
mitigate the aforementioned electricity supply challenges, yet the exploitation of solar PV in
Kenya is still limited. This working paper analyses both the potential for integration of PV into
the Kenyan electricity generation mix and the sociotechnical, economic, political, and
institutional and policy barriers, which limit PV integration. These barriers can be overcome with
better and more robust policy regulations, additional investments in research and development,
and coordination. Most noticeably, storage solutions and other elements of flexibility need to
be incorporated to balance the intermittent nature of electricity generation based on solar PV.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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