Case Study: Kenya

Policy & Regulatory Framework

Kenya is committed to universal access to modern forms of energy by 2030, as outlined in Vision 2030, the national development blueprint. Energy has been identified as one of the important pillars to achieve this vision: the Government plans to increase access from the current 30% to 65% by 2020 and to 100% by 2030. In order to achieve this, the Government is reviewing national energy policy (Sessional Paper No. 4) and the Energy Act of 2006. Section 66 of the Energy Act of 2006 established the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) with the principal mandate of extending the electricity supply to rural areas, managing a rural electrification fund, mobilizing resources for rural electrification, and promoting the development and use of renewable energy.

Operator Model

The Kenyan Government mini-grids use a Government-managed operator model. Generation assets belong to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. KPLC operates and maintains the mini-grids. The Rural Electrification Authority plans and implements new mini-grids using income generated from the Rural Electrification Levy (which is part of all consumer bills).

Technology

The Kenyan mini-grids generally utilise diesel-fuelled generator technology. The total installed mini-grid capacity across Kenya is 19.16 MW, consisting of 18.1 MW thermal, 0.55 MW wind, and 0.5 MW solar PV power. The relatively small solar and wind contributions, represent only 5% of total installed capacity (and even less of the power produced) as they are being piloted in just 7 of the mini-grids, with a view to scaling up this hybrid approach once funding is secured. The solar energy component helps to service the base load during the day. As there is no energy storage, the remaining load is met by the diesel generators.