A desk assessment of current products and players involved in the development and sale of domestic energy efficient products in Kenya

Author(s): African Centre for Technology Studies

Publication date: January 2016

Publication type: Review

Executive summary:

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in activities to provide energy to low-income households and communities in developing countries, through rural electrification schemes, the promotion of micro-grids and other methods. Increasingly there is recognition of the need for this energy to be sustainable. As a result a significant effort is being made to increase the percentage of power generated by renewable sources, notably wind and solar. Kenya has identified energy as one of the key infrastructure enablers for the country’s economic and social development and has one of the highest penetrations of solar products in Africa.

This paper focuses on Kenya and assesses the current state of the market for domestic low cost, energy efficient appliances. It focuses on the national policy environment, the players involved in the market and the current status of product availability. The paper informs efforts in the LCT project to determine the top priority low cost, energy efficient technologies for Kenya.

Kenya’s strategic plan has been driven by its national development strategy known as ‘Vision 2030’, the national energy access scale up programme and international goals (initially the Millennium Development Goals and more recently the Sustainable Energy for All programme (SE4ALL) and the Sustainable Development Goals).

Kenya has a vibrant industrial, manufacturing and retail sector and is moving forward in its efforts to reduce poverty in the country. It is for this reason that Kenya has one of the highest penetration rates for solar products in Africa. The market for domestic renewable energy products is dominated by the private sector (for profit and not-for profit) as well as public sector actors (donors and the government). This has been assisted by international finance opportunities, vibrant market competition in Kenya with a variety of products available on the market.

This project has focused attention on the current state of the market in relation to the following domestic appliances which are the focus of this project: solar pumps for irrigation, solar household refrigeration and solar cookers. We find that solar pumps are available through numerous suppliers; solar refrigeration options are available but are extremely expensive and solar cookers have not really caught on due to the dominance of improved cookstoves.


The full review can be accessed here