IREK Report No. 1

A desk assessment on the overviews of current solar and wind energy projects in Kenya

This assessment suggests that both solar and wind energy sectors in Kenya have to go a long way to contribute significantly to the national electric energy generation capacity. While there has been a long history of solar energy use in Kenya, there is no large-scale solar project that feeds power to the national grid currently (except those plants connected to test net-metering). Largescale solar project investors face uncertainty and lack confidence (in the sector) despite some of the encouraging institutional arrangements that have been put in place. Challenges related to poor infrastructure, limited involvement of research, educational and financial institutions and insufficient incentive mechanisms appear to have contributed to low or under investment in large-scale solar energy technologies. Similarly, the wind sector faces a range of structural challenges, such as insufficient incentives, poor infrastructure and lack of sound and sufficient data and research on wind regime of the country. This preliminary desk assessment therefore appears to suggest that delving into the national (as well as the international) institutional environment of solar and wind energy technologies and exploring local learning experiments is an opportunity to identify major system weaknesses and suggest appropriate systemic instruments to boost the functioning of national innovation systems related to these technologies in Kenya.

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