Although a fraction of supply now, solar’s price advantage for Kenya indicates the African powerhouse nation will be getting at least 10% of its electricity from the sun within the next decade, believes Sebastian Noethlich, owner of international solar developer Nvision Energy. “Solar,” the Bulgarian entrepreneur told SeeNews Renewables, “will be the cheapest source of power for Kenya.”
Solar provides only two megawatts of Kenya’s 1,500 MW of installed generating capacity now. But Noethlich anticipates that share will expand, based on its price advantage in a country where three out of four inhabitants aren’t connected to grid power. “I expect this figure to rise to around 50 MW over the next 3 to 5 years,” Noethlich said. “Ultimately I expect that Kenya will reach somewhere around 10% solar as share of installed capacity by 2025.”
The power yield from solar in Kenya, Noethlich said, is “double to triple what one could get in England and still 50% to 100% more than southern Europe.” Offsetting its growing share in Kenya’s electricity mix, however, will be “well over 1,000 MW” of conventional fossil-fuel plants already planned or in construction. Red tape from Kenya’s “very advanced bureaucracy” may also delay solar’s day in the African sun.