Kenya to benefit from Sh12.5bn US green energy for Africa funds


USAid Administrator Samantha Power at Serena hotel, Nairobi, Kenya on June 21, 2023. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Kenya has been listed among countries that will receive a combined Sh12.5 billion ($88.9 million) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) to fund renewable energy projects.

The billions to be released through the Power Africa initiative for East and Central Africa will fund the construction of 10 million on-grid and off-grid connections for an estimated 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.

USAid administrator Samantha Power announced the signing of the deal at the Africa Energy Forum but did not give a breakdown of the amount that is expected to be channelled to Kenya.

The funding will significantly boost Kenya’s efforts to scale up electricity access to homes and businesses in the far-flung regions by tapping the vast solar potential.

“The Power Africa programme will support 10 million on and off-grid connections for households and businesses in the region, providing 50 million people access to new or improved electricity generated from cleaner fuel sources,” said Ms Power yesterday.

At least 87 percent of Kenya’s electricity comes from clean sources with geothermal accounting for half of the power generated in the first three months of this year followed by wind at 18 percent, hydro (14 percent) and solar at 4.3 percent.

Some 9.01 million customers were linked to the national grid as of December last year, with the government keen to light up more homes in the coming years as part of achieving 100 percent access to electricity.

The $88.9 million deal marks one of the major deals at the Africa Energy Forum that started in Nairobi on Tuesday, greatly boosting the region’s efforts of scaling up electricity access by tapping clean power sources.

The forum has drawn government officials, financiers and the energy sector and seeks to seek ways of boosting access to electricity in Africa through tapping renewable energy sources.

Ms Power added that USAid would partner with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology to identify and develop solar projects for small and medium enterprises in Kenya.

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