Why Kenya Could Be The Renewable Energy Powerhouse In Africa

by Business Watch Team
Renewable Energy

During the COP27 forum in Egypt, Kenya’s President positioned Kenya as a renewable energy powerhouse, not just in the East African region but in the entire continent.

Kenya is known to generate more than 75 percent of its electricity from renewable sources primarily geothermal power and hydropower.

Due to strong solar potential, the country’s unique coastal breezes, and the geology in specific locations of Kenya, renewable energy has significant potential in the region. As a result, Kenya is attracting foreign investors who view wind and solar energy as viable options for rural electrification.

At present, Africa accounts for a fraction of global emissions – at just under 4 percent – in contrast to China (23 percent), the US (19 percent), and Europe (13 percent).

Even with all its potential in specific regions in the African continent, studies show that Africa is still the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change with extreme weather like drought and flooding already becoming commonplace on the continent.

Based on this premise, African governments want wealthier nations to make big investments in clean technology and infrastructure to support developing countries.

“Kenya currently gets more than 90 percent of its electricity and 74 percent of its overall energy from renewable sources… Leaning on fossil fuel is not an option in the face of the reality of what we know is happening to our globe,” said President William Ruto at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

The statement by President William Ruto during the global forum earned Kenya world admiration, with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom promising to lend at least 500 million dollars to Kenya to support green energy efforts, among other initiatives in the country.

A strong base to build on

The President’s sentiments are supported by the statistics on Kenya’s power. Statistics show that Kenya’s power is almost 80 percent renewables with geothermal being a huge part of it, while wind and solar resources are growing.

Geothermal energy plays a huge role in providing baseload power in Kenya, as solar and wind are intermittent sources reliant on seasons and weather. Kenya has huge geothermal potential, at almost 10,000 MW, and has always shown a willingness to continue exploiting its geothermal, solar, and wind potential to meet its energy needs.

When it comes to transportation, Kenya heavily relies on vehicles using either diesel or petrol. There has been a push for Kenya to start shifting towards the use of electric cars. Currently, only 350 electric cars are on Kenyan roads, meaning a lot still needs to be done. Industry analysts predict that the country will make strides in embracing electric cars by the year 2050.

Kenya in the conversation

The world is looking forward to the 48th Middle East Energy (MEE) conference and exhibition in Dubai, which is set to host over 800 exhibitors from 170 countries. Kenya will be taking notes during the exhibition to see whether her place in global energy still stands. The expo brings together producers, sellers, and buyers of energy systems and equipment as they chart the way forward on new inventions and energy transitions around the globe.

Kenya is also looking forward to capitalizing on MEE to fight counterfeits within the energy sector. In July 2021 the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) confiscated suspected counterfeit electronic products worth over 5 million shillings from several traders in Nairobi County. Kenya’s increasing cases of counterfeit electrical products continue to pose significant risks to the country’s consumers.

MEE, therefore, will provide a forum for representatives from Kenya to learn about new models and tech innovations, benchmark within sectors, and discuss strategic and forward-looking developments in the Kenyan market and beyond.

The 2023 Middle East Energy Exhibition and Conference will be happening at the Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE between the 7th – 9th of March 2023. Registration is open at www.middleeast-energy.com

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