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The sun rises in the east (of Africa): A comparison of the development and status of solar energy markets in Kenya and Tanzania

  • Ondraczek, Janosch

This paper describes, compares and analyses the historical development and current status of Kenya's and Tanzania's emerging solar energy markets. The analysis is based on an extensive literature survey and 25 in-depth personal interviews with experts on the East African solar power market. Kenya's solar market is found to be one of the world's leading markets for off-grid solar uses, with a current installed capacity of over 10MWp and more than 320,000 solar home systems. Having developed much later than the Kenyan market, Tanzania’s market still remains smaller than its neighbour’s, with an installed capacity of around 4MWp and at least 40,000 solar home systems, but is in the process of catching up. In addition to solar home systems, other applications of solar energy technologies, such as in social institutions, telecoms and tourism, are covered. Major differences and similarities between the Kenyan and Tanzanian solar markets are identified and reasons for these are analysed. Initial policy implications regarding the regulation and promotion of solar energy in East Africa suggest that awareness, availability and affordability are major drivers that all need to be present to enable the widespread adoption of off-grid solar technologies in emerging markets.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 56 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 407-417

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:56:y:2013:i:c:p:407-417
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  1. Jann Lay & Janosch Ondraczek & Jana Stoever, 2012. "Renewables in the Energy Transition: Evidence on Solar Home Systems and Lighting-Fuel Choice in Kenya," GIGA Working Paper Series 198, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  2. Bawakyillenuo, Simon, 2012. "Deconstructing the dichotomies of solar photovoltaic (PV) dissemination trajectories in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe from the 1960s to 2007," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 410-421.
  3. Janosch Ondraczek, 2012. "The Sun Rises in the East (of Africa): A Comparison of the Development and Status of the Solar Energy Markets in Kenya and Tanzania," Working Papers FNU-197, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised 27 Jan 2012.
  4. Jacobson, Arne, 2007. "Connective Power: Solar Electrification and Social Change in Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 144-162, January.
  5. Sheya, Mohammed S. & J.S. Mushi, Salvatory, 2000. "The state of renewable energy harnessing in Tanzania," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 65(1-4), pages 257-271, April.
  6. Jacobson, Arne & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "Engineering, institutions, and the public interest: Evaluating product quality in the Kenyan solar photovoltaics industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2960-2968, May.
  7. Acker, Richard H & Kammen, Daniel M, 1996. "The quiet (energy) revolution : Analysing the dissemination of photovoltaic power systems in Kenya," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 81-111, January.
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