Paving the Path for Renewable Electrification The role of government in supporting mini-grids firms to establish and grow in the energy sector of Kenya

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Huda, Sanjidul
Söderbom, Ludvig
Despite the importance of energy access, over a hundred million people lack access in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Providing energy access to the people living in rural areas is the key to rural development. The Ministry of Energy in Kenya has devel- oped Kenya Vision 2030, a national strategic plan to promote energy efficiency when previous targets were not successfully reached. Mini-grids powered by green energy have been identified as an essential technology to assist the sustainable energy tran- sition. This thesis aims to understand what could be the role of the government in supporting mini-grid firms and enabling them to establish and grow in the energy sector of Kenya. Several strategy plans, articles, and literature has been assessed in this research. To obtain more in-depth knowledge, a field study was conducted in Kenya with relevant stakeholders, including the government, mini-grid firms and researchers. In the current state, the government does not forecast the policies of a particular type of firm. It instead applies to both public and private firms. The sup- port fluctuates depending on the actor. The most significant identified challenges when giving support were internal conflicts within the board of decision-makers, standardised working process and grid extension. Critical factors for a successful mini-grid operation and development were also evaluated. The firms highlighted identified critical factors from the literature to explain what they believe is essential and how the government could, in particular, work with these factors. The govern- ment further stated how they could support the firms with these specific factors. Private firms will need to play a more prominent role in the future since they op- erate in isolated rural communities where neither the public sector nor the main grid has reached. The role of the government could be to develop a more detailed strategic plan that gives the private sector more space, include all stakeholders in the decision-making process, favours investors to participate in the sector and promote green technologies, and increase their use of renewable resources. The government of Kenya has been depicted as a showcase for regional countries regarding their energy development, thus the government’s role in paving the path for renewable electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mini-grids, Sustainable energy transition, Renewable energy sector, Rural electrification, Mini-grid operations, Ministry of Energy, Kenya
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