Country Snapshot: Kenya

Publication October 2015


In Kenya’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) it has its sights set on reducing its GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. Announced in July 2015, Kenya’s INDC stated that the 2030 target will be achieved by adapting and implementing various action plans, framework policies and legislation at national and county level. The INDC also reveals that Kenya aims to achieve its target by focusing on geothermal energy generation and other clean energy options; sustainable waste management systems; climate smart agriculture; low carbon and efficient transportation systems; and achieving a tree cover of at least 10%.

Kenya also announced in its INDC that it will require US$40 billion to reach its target by 2030. In addition to the domestic support needed, Kenya also requires international support in the form ‘of finance, investment, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building’.

The plan also forms a cohesive part of Kenya’s long-term economic and social goals, particularly its Vision 2030, by which it is seeking to be a middle income country by 2030:

‘Kenya strives to be a newly industrialised middle income country by 2030. This development is expected to increase emissions from the energy sector. The current energy mix, however, is mainly clean with deliberate efforts by Government towards enhancing geothermal, wind, solar and other clean energy development.’

Policy and Regulations

Kenya issued its National Climate Change Action Plan in 2013 which is valid until 2017. It is now finalising a National Climate Change Framework Policy and a Climate Change Bill. The policy is to be implemented through the various sectors involved – such as forestry, transportation, manufacturing, energy and agriculture. Currently climate change mitigation and adaptation are co-ordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources through the National Climate Change Secretariat. In respect of future years, the Climate Change Bill sets out an institutional and legal framework for the co-ordination of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Kenya, including the establishment of a National Climate Change Council, a Climate Change Directorate and a Kenya Climate Fund.

Renewable Energy

Kenya has a well-established renewable feed-in-tariff (Fit) policy which was first implemented in 2008, and reviewed and expanded in 2010 and 2012 to include technologies such as geothermal and solar photovoltaic. The FiT policy is next due for review at the end of 2015, and includes a standardised Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and a set of tariffs which are technology specific.

The size of projects is up to 20MW for hydropower, 40MW for solar PV and biomass, 50MW for wind and 70MW for geothermal. Geothermal dominates Kenya’s renewable energy sector, with a current installed capacity of 579MW out of an estimated potential of up to 10,000MW. The expansion of the geothermal energy sector is a key and much-publicised part of the government’s energy policy.

Several independent wind power projects have also been developed in recent years, with the most advanced of these being the Lake Turkana wind power project. Under the FiT policy, Kenya Power and Lighting Company is close to signing its first PPA for a solar PV power project, and has also entered into PPAs for mini-hydro projects.

Energy Efficiency

Most of Kenya’s GHG emissions are from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) and agriculture due to the heavy usage of biomass sold fuel for cooking and heating by the rural population. Other significant emissions are from energy and transport sectors.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) provides training and energy audits on energy efficiency through the Centre for Energy Efficiency & Conservation (CEEC). KAM also manages the annual Energy Management Award (EMA), which recognises major and sustainable gains in energy efficiency, energy and cost reductions.

Kenya energy policy also supports off-grid solar, which has permitted off-grid solar home systems entrepreneurs such as M-Kopa, based in Nairobi, to roll out solar home systems to 200,000 residences across East Africa.


Kenya is one of 60 partner countries of the UN-REDD programme. It is also the host jurisdiction of the first REDD+ project in the world to achieve Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) validation & verification, the Kasigau Corridor project, which runs between Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks in southern Kenya. The Kasigau Corridor project is managed by Wildlife Works and has reportedly generated 1.2 million Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs) annually. These have been purchased by financial institutions such as BNP Paribas, Nedbank and Barclays with the proceeds (approximately US$3.5 million to US$7 million) funding investors and local communities.

Financial Support

The initial analysis within the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) suggests that the financial requirements to move Kenya onto a low-carbon, climate resilient growth path may be in the region of US$2.75 billion per annum split roughly equally between mitigation and adaptation.

In terms of climate funds, the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Programme has an investment plan of US$85 million in Kenya, of which around US$25 million has already been disbursed; whilst the Special Climate Change Fund, the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Readiness Fund have all disbursed resources to Kenyan projects. In total, around US$300 million worth of resources have been disbursed from climate funds to projects in Kenya.

The amount of funds devoted to mitigation and adaptation is roughly equal, with adaptation accounting for slightly more, as is appropriate for the Kenyan situation.

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