Kenya is set to embark on an ambitious project to boost its national power grid from three GigaWatts to 100 GigaWatts by 2040, according to Kenyan President William Ruto.
Speaking at the African Climate Summit, Ruto highlighted the country’s commitment to renewable energy, with 92 percent of the current power generation coming from renewable sources.
Ruto outlined the country’s vision to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, coupled with a massive expansion of the national power grid to accommodate the increased capacity. He described the goal as audacious yet achievable, emphasising the importance of renewable energy in driving socio-economic prosperity.
The President highlighted the transformative potential of renewable energy, not only in reducing carbon emissions but also in fueling sustainable development. He highlighted the positive impact of renewable energy in creating jobs, driving economic growth, and uplifting citizens from energy poverty.
Ruto expressed confidence in Africa’s ability to power its energy needs using renewable resources, emphasising the continent’s vast potential in wind, solar, geothermal, sustainable biomass, and hydropower. He further noted that Africa has the potential to become a green industrial hub, supporting other regions in achieving their net-zero strategies by 2050.
The move to upgrade Kenya’s national power grid is a significant step towards the country’s commitment to renewable energy and sustainable development. It represents a shift towards a greener and more sustainable future, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating the impact of climate change.
The project will require substantial investment in infrastructure and technology to accommodate the increased power capacity. However, the potential benefits far outweigh the costs, as Kenya stands to gain from job creation, economic growth, and improved energy access for its citizens.
Kenya’s commitment to renewable energy aligns with global efforts to transition to clean and sustainable sources of power. With the country’s abundant renewable resources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, it is well-positioned to become a leader in renewable energy generation.
The upgrade of the national power grid will not only enhance Kenya’s energy sector but also contribute to the country’s broader development goals. Access to reliable and affordable electricity is crucial for various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and education. With an expanded and renewable-powered grid, Kenya can spur innovation, attract investment, and drive inclusive growth.
However, achieving the ambitious target of a 100 GigaWatt grid by 2040 will require strong political will, collaboration between government and private sector stakeholders, and steady investment in renewable energy infrastructure. It will also necessitate favourable policies and regulatory frameworks to attract investment in the sector and encourage the adoption of renewable technologies.
According to him, Africa’s solar potential is perfectly suited for industrial energy demand because of its almost year-round sunshine. However, Ruto acknowledged the challenge of bridging the investment gap to meet the continent’s energy needs. He mentioned that creating sufficient demand on a large scale will encourage private investment in energy infrastructure development.
Ruto highlighted that around 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, and 150 million face unreliable power, while nearly a billion have no access to clean cooking energy. Nevertheless, he expressed optimism about the abundance of renewable resources, advancements in technology, and opportunities presented by climate financing. Ruto affirmed that by 2030, it is within our capability to provide reliable and cost-effective energy access for all Africans.