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Kenya’s green energy investments fall 45pc

A technician installs solar panels
A technician installs solar panels. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s renewable energy investments dipped 45 percent to Sh78.4 billion ($727 million) last year, despite the country retaining third position in green energy hotspots in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

This was a drop from previous year’s record high of $1.4 billion (Sh150.9 billion), according to the 2020 United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) report that tracked global trends.

The report cites Frontier Investment Management Eldosol and Radiant PV projects worth Sh15.97 billion ($148 million) as among the few large transactions that happened in Kenya last year.

Kenya has been increasing its investments in renewable energy in quest to enhance reliance on clean and cheap energy given that for instance, wind power is priced at Sh8 per kilowatt hours (kWh) compared to thermal at Sh15 per kWh.

The country last year also commissioned the 50MW solar plant in Garissa, which took the share of renewable energy in the national grid beyond 90 percent.


The 2018 top country in renewables investments in MEA, South Africa also saw a 76 percent dip in investments to Sh107.8 billion, relegating it to second position in the latest survey.

Morocco, whose investments dropped by 83 percent to Sh53.9 billion, was ranked fifth after losing its top spot to United Arabs Emirates (UAE).

UAE last year attracted Sh485 billion ($4.5 billion) green energy investments, being 15 times more than the $0.3 billion it got in 2018 when it ranked eighth.

The big jump in UAE investment was attributed to the Sh464 billion Al Maktoum IV giant solar project that will cover 44 square kilometres.

“Several countries that had become significant investors in previous years, including South Africa, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya, had sizeable falls in investment, due in large part to gaps in auction programmes,” notes the report.

The falls in these markets saw renewable energy capacity investment in MEA slip eight percent to Sh1.64 trillion last year, from the record Sh1.78 trillion reached the previous year.