Lack of Regulatory Burdens and Incentives Leads to Solar Growth among C&I Customers in Kenya

C&I installations are spurring growth Kenya’s emerging solar market, according to an analysis published by Greentech Media. Since 2013, approximately 7 megawatts of captive C&I solar have been awarded and installed in the country, according to data scientist Rosina Norton.

In terms of market size, C&I customers use about 72% of the energy consumed in the East African nation, and they represent 68% of Kenya Power electricity sales. C&I solar project systems range from 50 kilowatts to several megawatts, Norton reports.

Although some challenges remain, the growth of C&I installations in Kenya’s solar market is unique. A lack of regulatory burdens shortens timelines for the projects. These projects are all being completed without government incentives or subsidies, leading to competitive prices for clients, Norton points out.

Electricity is expensive in Kenya, including high tariffs, high demand charges, and steep cost of diesel generators used for backup power during outages. In that light of those factors, solar has become an increasingly attractive option with key players like Azimuth Power, SolarAfrica, CrossBoundary Energy, and Harmonic Systems entering the market.

Earlier this year, SolarAfrica commissioned a solar hybrid system in Kenya for salt producer Krystalline Salt. The system will be capable of generating 1.6 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually, making it the largest industrial solar system project in East Africa so far, PV Tech reported.

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