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Kenya’s complete transition to clean energy gets World Bank support

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T he  Climate Investment Funds has endorsed a $70 million plan, with an initial allocation of $46.39 million, to advance the integration and utilisation of renewable energy in the Kenyan grid.

The move will enable the country’s transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

This approval, as part of CIF’s Renewable Energy Integration (REI) investment program, will support Kenya’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Kenya’s CIF REI plan will support access to clean, adequate, affordable, and reliable electricity in the country. It is expected to mobilize at least an additional $243 million from the public and private sectors through implementing partners—the African Development Bank and the World Bank Group.

Currently, the share of renewable energy in Kenya is almost 90 percent – including 45 percent geothermal and 26 percent hydropower. But the system faces challenges. During evening hours, it struggles to meet peak demand, but later, at night, generation surpluses from geothermal and wind are sometimes not dispatched.

Kenya’s REI investment plan will improve dispatch, grid stability, and flexibility to address these issues. It will facilitate future private sector investment in innovative storage technologies, such as battery storage and pumped hydropower.

The energy system will also be better prepared for a significant increase in electric mobility and cooking. The plan contributes to the expansion of variable renewable energy, such as wind and solar, from 19 percent to 30 percent by 2030.

CIF has established the pioneering REI program precisely to address the issues linked to the deployment of clean and intermittent power sources in developing economies.

REI can support a mix of supply/demand side flexibility measures— enabling technologies, enabling infrastructure, market design and system operations improvement, and electrification and demand management; while advancing social inclusion and leveraging private sector financing.

Ten countries have been selected to take part in this program, with Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji and Mali’s investment plans endorsed by the CIF Trust Fund Committee in 2023.
Luis Tineo – Interim CEO, Climate investment Funds“CIF’s concessional funding will be instrumental in getting power to Kenyan consumers where and when they need it.

Through the Renewable Energy Integration investment program, three of our multilateral development bank partners are collaborating with us to build a powerful coalition to boost Kenya’s ambitions.

We are very excited to support Kenya in their trailblazing effort to reach universal energy access while embracing low carbon technology, from renewable energy and geothermal development to e-mobility and clean cooking.”

Alex Wachira – Principal Secretary, State Department for Energy – Kenya“The Government of Kenya expresses its gratitude for being among the countries participating in the Renewable Energy Integration Program and acknowledges the valuable support extended by the Climate Investment Funds.

[REI] facilitates enhanced integration of renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in pursuit of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions goal. (…) Additionally, the plan will assist Kenya in her ambition to achieve 100% clean energy in the power system by 2030 and place it well on the trajectory to achieving Net Zero by 2050.

This program is expected to promote gender balance among the professionals and resource persons who undergo training, creating a gender-responsive and diverse pool of skilled manpower in the renewable energy sector. Implementation of this program is of high importance, and we look forward to achieving every component.”

Keith Hansen, Country Director for Kenya – World Bank“Kenya is a front runner in the transition towards 100 percent clean energy by 2030 while ensuring universal access to electricity is achieved at the earliest. The World Bank is supporting the government of Kenya in developing a smart and flexible energy system that makes these ambitions possible.”

Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth – African Development Bank“We are excited to welcome the endorsement of the REI Investment Plan for Kenya, a transformative step towards a sustainable energy future.

This comprehensive plan represents a strategic blueprint for integrating renewable energy into the country’s energy landscape. It reflects our collective commitment to fostering innovation, reducing carbon emissions, and creating a resilient energy infrastructure.  We look forward to actively participating in the implementation of this plan, working hand in hand with all stakeholders.”

Mary Porter Peschka, Regional Director for Eastern Africa – IFC“Supporting the growth of clean and affordable energy is central to IFC’s work and vital to Kenya’s inclusive green growth.

By leveraging private sector expertise and resources, we can increase access to innovative energy solutions like battery storage, mini-grids, clean cooking, and e-mobility.”

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