750 MW Of FiT-Approved Solar PV Projects In The Pipeline In Kenya

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There are currently around 750 megawatts (MW) worth of feed-in tariff (FiT) approved solar PV projects in the pipeline in Kenya, according to the country’s director of renewable energy.

While that number includes many projects that are currently only in the feasibility study stage, there are a number of projects that are further along — including the 20 MW plant being installed in Nairobi by Strathmore University. That project is intended to function as a pilot for the development of further large-scale, grid-tied solar projects in Kenya.

Image Credit: African Solar Design
Image Credit: African Solar Design

The country’s director of renewable energy, Isaac Kiva, notes that the approved capacity is spread out amongst 25 projects. Speaking at the the Solar & Off-Grid Renewables Africa conference in Nairobi on March 4th, he noted that, after projects finished up the feasibility study stage, they would then proceed to the power purchase agreement (PPA) stage.

PV Tech provides more:

Until Kenya’s FiT was revised in 2012 to US$0.12/kWh, it had attracted little interest, but Kiva said last year the Kenyan government had received applications for 112 projects across all renewable energy types.

Kiva also revealed that Kenya was pressing ahead with plans to introduce a new net metering policy for smaller PV systems; the FiT is only available for projects of 0.5-40MW.

He said last week the government had heard presentations from a consultancy hired to advise on net metering, and that it looked as though the policy was a “viable option” for Kenya, potentially opening up the market to more small PV installations.

The chief executive of African Solar Designs (the company hired to conduct the net metering study for the country), Mark Hankins, noted during his own speech at the event that “net metering was ‘not an easy argument’ to win due to fears on the part of utility companies over the harm the policy may do to their revenues.”

“We have to get the utilities to be more comfortable with the idea. But Kenya is leading the way with this and I think we will learn more about this [soon],” he continued.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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3 thoughts on “750 MW Of FiT-Approved Solar PV Projects In The Pipeline In Kenya

  • To put the number into perspective, Kenya’s total generating capacity was only 1.6 GW in 2012 and peak demand was 1.5GW, both numbers growing rapidly. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-16/kenya-electricity-hydro-power-generation-to-fall-to-45-in-2014.html ) 750 MW is a 40% or so increase not in solar capacity, but in *total* capacity.

    Kenya can afford to be relaxed about the intermittency of solar because it is at the same time tapping its excellent geothermal resources in the Rift Valley, which can provide 24/7 backup and baseload, and wind in the north of the country. Their problem is getting their renewable grid out into the countryside.

    Kenya’s success is likely to inspire emulation across East Africa..

  • Using the word ‘pipeline’ in the title for a solar PV article is confusing – I’d suggest replacing ‘in the pipeline’ with ‘scheduled’ or ‘in the works’.

Comments are closed.