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Kenya to add 80 MW of solar power to national grid in 2021

Kenya’s energy regulator on Friday, December 11, 2020 said it was set to add 80 MW of solar power to the national electricity grid in 2021.

Uhuru Kenyatta
President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta

Caroline Kimathi, principal renewable energy officer at the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya generates approximately 200 MW of electricity from harnessing the sun’s energy.

Kimathi told a forum on reviewing a draft regulation on solar energy that “private investors have received approval to build two solar electric plants at 40 MW each that will be operational in 2021.’’

She said Kenya is an ideal location for production of electricity through solar panels due to abundant sunshine throughout the year in most parts of the country.

She added that solar energy was also a cost-effective way to ensure universal electrify coverage, especially in the arid and semi-arid areas, in the country.

Nickson Bukachi, senior renewable energy officer at the EPRA, said that Kenya was planning to review the solar legal framework to boost its uptake among households and the industrial sector.

Bukachi said Kenya imports over 90 per cent of solar equipment used in the country due to lack of local production technology and capacity.

He added that proposed regulations recommend a number of standards for solar equipment imported into the country to safeguard consumers from substandard products.

According to Bukachi, the new regulatory framework would promote technology transfer by ensuring that all solar projects undertaken by foreign firms had a minimum local content.

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