Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency

General Framework

The framework of the electricity sector in Kenya is one of the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa. The numerous reforms that the Kenyan government promoted in the last 15 years have led to more competition and efficiency gains showing an overall positive impact. Since 2006, the number of people with access to electricity has increased every year by an average of about 17%. The current installed power generation capacity is 1,780 MW (2013) and has thus increased by over 50% since 2006.

Despite these improvements, the power supply is still not reliable. Only about 30% of the population has access to electricity. In rural areas, especially in the sparsely populated north, less than 5% of households are connected to the power grid. Power outages are common due to the excess at the demand side and inadequate transmission and distribution technologies. The vast majority of Kenya's energy consumption (68%) is still covered by biomass, which is primarily used for cooking. In rural areas, more than 90% of households use this form of energy.

Objective and Approach of German Development Cooperation

The objective of the German Development Cooperation is to contribute to a sustainable and reliable power supply in Kenya and to promote the use of renewable energies (geothermal, solar, hydro) by involving the private sector. At the same time, the power distribution should be strengthened through targeted measures such as grid extensions, grid stabilization, grid efficiency and loss reduction as well as intelligent regulation and control of grid systems. Through the German Climate and Technology Initiative, solar energy will be promoted in rural areas of Kenya. Off-grid solutions will contribute to a cost-effective and sustainable electricity supply in rural areas.

Supported by Germany together with other donors, the "Energising Development" (EnDev) program will be implemented in more than 20 countries. The objective of this program is to disseminate efficient energy technologies on household level, such as energy-saving stoves for cooking or mini solar panels for lighting.

Examples: What has been achieved?

Under the Financial Cooperation, both geothermal power plants (and linked site development measures) as well as the rehabilitation of hydropower plants were financed. This approach contributed to a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly power generation capacity of 470 MW in total provided for the national grid. For this purpose, a total of 123 million Euros were contributed.

Under the Technical Cooperation and together with Kenyan partners, suitable locations for the installation of off-grid hybrid-systems (Solar PV/Diesel) have been identified. The installation of two plants with private sector participation is in the planning phase. In addition, a training for solar technicians is supported at the Strathmore University.

From 2006 to 2013, as part of the EnDev program, a total of 1,450,000 households and approximately 4,500 institutions and small businesses were equipped with firewood-saving stoves through a commercial approach (the customer pays the full price for the product). This makes an annual saving of nearly 1,050,000 tons of CO2 and about 1.6 million tonnes of firewood, which corresponds to an area of approximately 87,516 ha of natural forest. Supported by the program, about 250 small businesses and traders sold approximately 29,000 small solar systems to rural households.

Energising Development


Working with Energy

Factsheet: Cooperation in the Energy Sector