Kenya is among countries in the Horn of Africa that are facing the worst drought crisis in 40 years to due failed rain seasons. About 22 out of 47 counties are affected by this deteriorating situation. Nearly five million people are facing hunger as a result of the climate change crisis. To deal with this menace, the government has taken a raft of measures to cushion the citizens and build a more sustainable future. Some of these measures include increasing the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, and implementing energy efficiency measures to reduce the demand for energy from fossil fuels.
The government of Kenya has set a goal of achieving universal access to electricity by 2030. Since 2013, the government has more than doubled electricity access from 32% to 75% households in 2022. The access rate for urban areas currently stands at 100%, while rural Kenya stands at 65%. One key initiative is the “Last Mile Connectivity Project,” which aims to increase access to electricity in rural areas through the deployment of off-grid renewable energy systems. The project is being implemented by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REA), a state-owned company. Vantage position Additionally, Kenya has a feed-in tariff program that provides incentives for the development of renewable energy projects. The program has helped to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in the country, including from wind, hydro, geothermal, and solar sources. It is worth noting that over 80% of Kenya’s electricity is generated from renewable energy sources.
Geothermal is the most significant source with an estimated potential capacity of 10,000MW. However, it remains unexploited with only about 863MW installed. Globally, Kenya is ranked the eighth largest producer of geothermal and is also recognised as the only home to the single largest geothermal power plant, the 280MW Olkaria IV plant. Kenya is also home to the Lake Turkana Wind Power project, which is the largest wind farm in Africa. The project, which was commissioned in 2019, has a capacity of 310 MW and is expected to provide clean, reliable electricity to over 2 million people in the country. Kenya has a high potential for solar power given the high irradiation levels available throughout the year. The government added 120MW of solar power to the grid in 2021, raising the total generation to 172M. Adopting sustainable energy is important for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:
Climate change: One of the main drivers of the move to sustainable energy is the need to address climate change. The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving global warming and climate change. By transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
Environmental benefits: In addition to addressing climate change, the adoption of sustainable energy can also have a number of other environmental benefits. For example, renewable energy sources do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases, and they generally have a smaller overall impact on the environment compared to fossil fuels.
Economic benefits: The transition to sustainable energy can also have economic benefits. For example, investing in renewable energy can create jobs and stimulate economic growth, as well as reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels and the associated costs.
Energy security: Adopting sustainable energy can also increase energy security by reducing reliance on a single energy source. This is particularly important for countries that are heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels, as they may be vulnerable to price fluctuations and supply disruptions.