IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ondraczek, Janosch, 2013. "The sun rises in the east (of Africa): A comparison of the development and status of solar energy markets in Kenya and Tanzania," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 407-417.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:56:y:2013:i:c:p:407-417 DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.01.007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Janosch Ondraczek, 2011. "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-195, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised 04 Mar 2011.
    3. 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.
    4. Lay, Jann & Ondraczek, Janosch & Stoever, Jana, 2013. "Renewables in the energy transition: Evidence on solar home systems and lighting fuel choice in Kenya," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 350-359.
    5. 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.
    6. Jacobson, Arne, 2007. "Connective Power: Solar Electrification and Social Change in Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 144-162, January.
    7. Sheya, Mohammed S. & J.S. Mushi, Salvatory, 2000. "The state of renewable energy harnessing in Tanzania," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 257-271.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kanyarusoke, Kant E. & Gryzagoridis, Jasson & Oliver, Graeme, 2016. "Re-mapping sub-Sahara Africa for equipment selection to photo electrify energy poor homes," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 240-250.
    2. Hansen, Ulrich Elmer & Pedersen, Mathilde Brix & Nygaard, Ivan, 2015. "Review of solar PV policies, interventions and diffusion in East Africa," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 236-248.
    3. Ondraczek, Janosch, 2014. "Are we there yet? Improving solar PV economics and power planning in developing countries: The case of Kenya," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 604-615.
    4. Stephan Klasen & Tukae Mbegalo, 2016. "The Impact of Livestock Ownership on Solar Home System Adoption in the Northern and Western Regions of Rural Tanzania," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 218, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    5. Jadhav, Atul S. & Chembe, Dickson K. & Strauss, Johann M. & Van Niekerk, Johannes L., 2017. "Status of Solar Technology Implementation in the Southern African Developing Community (SADC) Region," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 622-631.
    6. Pahle, Michael & Pachauri, Shonali & Steinbacher, Karoline, 2016. "Can the Green Economy deliver it all? Experiences of renewable energy policies with socio-economic objectives," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 1331-1341.
    7. Karakaya, Emrah & Sriwannawit, Pranpreya, 2015. "Barriers to the adoption of photovoltaic systems: The state of the art," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 60-66.
    8. repec:eee:rensus:v:74:y:2017:i:c:p:1189-1209 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Acaroğlu, Hakan & Baykul, M. Celalettin, 2016. "Economic analysis of flat-plate solar collectors (FPSCs): A solution to the unemployment problem in the city of Eskisehir," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 607-617.
    10. Mandelli, Stefano & Brivio, Claudio & Colombo, Emanuela & Merlo, Marco, 2016. "A sizing methodology based on Levelized Cost of Supplied and Lost Energy for off-grid rural electrification systems," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 475-488.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:56:y:2013:i:c:p:407-417. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.