Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, CC BY-SA 3.0

Kenya is a country in Central Africa and bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. The climate is warm and humid tropical near the Indian Ocean; in the Savannah grasslands the climate is cooler. To the North the climate gets more arid and semi-arid with desert-like landscapes.


Kenya is a presidential representative democratic republic and has a strong economy, with the largest GDP in East and Central Africa. Nevertheless, for the 48 million inhabitants, agriculture is the major employer. Tea, coffee and flowers are exported to Europe.

Need For solar technology in Kenya

The country’s first National Communication to the UNFCCC noted the under-exploitation of solar systems in off-grid areas and emphasized the need for projects promoting solar-powered technologies in rural areas or regions with low grid power supply connectivity. One of the identified projects was the Kenya Renewable Energy Technology Development Programme that aimed at acquisition of solar PV systems for domestic utilization. Kenya’s 2012 draft national energy policy identifies challenges in the adoption of solar systems for domestic and commercial use, despite favorable tax incentives. This has been contributed to by substandard technologies, faulty installations, and a lack of skilled labor available to maintain the equipment. In addition, the lack of consumer awareness of solar technologies and their benefits has resulted in a low uptake. Some of the recommended policies and strategies include incentives to promote local production of solar systems, enforcing standards for technology, and providing tax rebates on solar equipment. One of the identified medium-term strategies of the draft national policy is to have 100 percent installation of public facilities in off-grid areas with solar PV systems. Kenya published its most recent Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) in 2013. The energy sector is one of their priorities for technology transfer, including demand side management. Solar power is listed as a demand side management measure at the building level, to help reduce the need for grid extension and demand for power.

SolarChill in Kenya

41 Kenyan Health Facilities have been selected to obtain refrigerators within the GEF SolarChill Project