Kenya’s economic growth has put the country’s electricity supply under increasing pressure. Between 2004 and 2013 power demand rose by 18.9% annually. The Kenyan authorities intend to close the current supply gap of 80 MW (25 GWh) by 2015. Under the Least Cost Power Development Plan, the country is focusing on the development of geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. After a 280 MW geothermal plant was commissioned in early 2015, electricity tariffs were decreased by up to 30% depending on the customer group. At the same time, the low rural electrification rate of 6.7% requires grid extension and electrification projects in remote areas of the country. Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority is concentrating mainly on the expansion of greenfield photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids and on retrofitting existing diesel-powered mini-grids.
The Kenya Vision 2030 is aimed at enabling the country to achieve middle-income status by 2030. Implemented in 2007, the strategy foresees annual GDP growth of 10%, which will trigger a significant rise in electricity demand. The increase is projected to reach between 11.9% and 15.3% per annum by 2030. Peak demand is expected to hit 15,000 MW at that time. The first step towards increased electricity production is scheduled for completion by 2016: the 2013 “5000 MW plan” sets an objective of expanding electricity generation by 5,000 MW. To meet future demand, the country needs to gradually extend its generating capacity to 19,200 MW by 2030. In this scenario, renewable energy will play an even more important role in the country’s electricity mix.