Electrical Installations, Mini Grids, Offgrid Power, Power Backup, Solar Grid Tie, Solar Projects, Solar Water Pumping, Street Lights

Solar Revolution in Kenya

The Kenyan Government has played a big role in advancement of the use of solar energy. It has removed import duty and zero-rated Value Added Tax (VAT) for renewable energy equipment and accessories. Further, its aim is to keep on increasing the factors of production. A study done by ERC in 2015, estimated the total megawatts (MW) produced in the solar sector to be over 20 with an expected growth of 15% annually. The Kenya Government aim is to have the sector produce 600 MWp by 2030. To attain this goal it has launched several projects across the country.

Solar Solving Challenges

At a time when climate change is a reality for all of us, the rapid deployment of solar energy is now becoming a major challenge for the future in Africa, especially as the continent has over 40 % of the world’s solar potential.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) “Renewables 2022 global status report”, in 2021, off-grid solar sales totalled 7.4 million units on the continent.

Kenya leads the way in sales with 1.7 million units sold. In this episode of Business Africa, Andrew Amadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Renewable Energy Association, explains the challenges of the energy transition on the African continent.

Solar Utilisation

Solar utilization in the country is mainly for photovoltaic systems which are used for telecommunications, lighting and cathodic protection of pipelines. Solar power is also used in drying and water heating. Furthermore we have seen more and more factories install solar panels on their rooftops to counter against, the cost of buying power from the grid and also mitigating against the instability of the grid since power outages are a regular feature of the Kenyan industrial and residential landscape. We have also seen an appetite for solar products from remote high end – exclusive game lodges. As compared to an expensive diesel powered generator that causes disturbances in Kenya’s game parks, a solar powered plant would be the exact opposite and not affect the lodge’s operations.




Over the years, there has been increased investment in the country’s solar industry. The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Energy (MoE) has initiated programs intended to electrify schools and health facilities in rural areas using solar systems. This includes provision of solar powered laptops to primary schools. Also, several players in the industry have developed customized solar solutions like solar home systems, solar lanterns, solar refrigerators and air conditioners that intend to meet the power needs of the rural population. Lastly, some of the diesel powered mini-grids located in regions distant from the grid are being retrofit with solar hybrids. This is in addition to development of solar mini-grids in areas distant from the national grid.

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