LEGAL AND REGULATORY FACTSHEET
|Actual Generation Capacity
|Deficit (in MW)
|Energy’s contribution to the GDP
|52,620. 48 MW
ENERGY MIX OVERVIEW
|Geothermal, hydro, wind, thermal, solar and cogeneration
|Installed and Actual Generation Capacity
|Installed: 2, 949.3 MW 3,074.34
Actual: 21, 407 MW
(As of 2022)
|Transmission Capacity (Wheeling Capacity)
|2,236 MW (as of 2015), equivalent to 2, 630. 59 MVA
|Electricity Access Rate
|Electricity access rate in Kenya is estimated to be 76.5% as of May 2021, 91% of the urban population had access to electricity, while 62% of Kenyans had electricity access in the rural areas in the same period.
|As of June 2021, peak demand was recorded to be 1, 994 MW 2,056.67MW as of January 2023. By 2030, projected demand is estimated to be 19, 201 MW.
|Off-Grid/Renewable Energy Capacity and Framework
|The Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP) was initiated in 2017 to increase access to modern energy in 14 undeserved counties in Kenya
|Alternative Off-take Arrangements
|There are no alternative off-take arrangements. KPLC is recognized as the public off-taker in the electricity sector
ELECTRICITY SECTOR MODEL
|Power Sector Model
|Utility Type Structure
|Kenya operates a vertical utility structure for electricity
ELECTRICITY MARKET DYNAMICS
KEY LEGAL AND REGULATORY AGENCIES
|Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP)
|The MoEP has the overriding function of generating policies for the growth and effective operation of Kenya’s energy sector
|Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA)
|Responsible for economic and technical regulation of the electric power sub-sector
|Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
|These are private companies that are allowed to generate power and supply in bulk to KPLC
|Kenyan Energy Generation Company (KenGen)
|KenGen is the principal company in Kenya specifically established for the generation of electricity
|Kenya Power and Lightning Company (KPLC)
|Popularly referred to as Kenya Power, the KPLC is a state-owned entity that is vested with the responsibility of transmission, distribution, and retail sales of electricity
|Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO)
|KETRACO is a government utility that designs, constructs, plans, operates, and maintains the high voltage electricity grid. KETRACO was designated as the System Operator in January 2022.
|Geothermal Development Company (GDC)
|The GDC assesses geothermal resources through exploration, appraisal and steam production.
|Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS):
|The KEBS is mandated, inter alia, to provide standardization in industry and commerce, and to assist the government or any other local authority to prepare and frame any specifications and codes of practice
|National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
|NEMA provides environmental guidelines that individuals and corporations particularly those engaging in activities involving natural resources are required to follow for sustainability
|Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC)
|REREC is vested with the responsibility of performing such functions and exercising such powers relating to the oversight and management of rural electrification programme
|Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NUPEA)
|This Agency is tasked to promote the operations of nuclear electricity by implementing the nuclear energy programme and undertaking research and dissemination of activities relating to the nuclear sub-sector
|Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA)
|Independent association with the objective of fostering growth and development of renewable energy in Kenya
LEGAL, REGULATORY, POLICY AND CONTRACTUAL FRAMEWORK
POLICIES AND PLANS
|National Energy Policy 2018
|Ensures sustainable, adequate, affordable, competitive, secure, and reliable supply of energy at the least cost aimed at meeting national objectives while protecting and conserving the environment
|Kenya National Climate Change Response Strategy 2018
|Creates a climate-change resilient Kenya through strengthening and focusing their actions on climate change adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases
|Kenya National Electrification Strategy (KNES) 2018
|Provides a roadmap to achieving universal access to electricity for all Kenyans by 2022
|Draft Kenya Energy Sector Whitepaper 2022
|The Ministry of Energy published the Draft Kenya Energy Sector White Paper (White Paper) which is intended to guide policies and actions in Kenya’s energy sector, in July 2022. The White Paper sets out the government’s ambitious goals which include increasing power generation capacity from the current 3 GW to 100 GW by 2040. It also recommends reforms such as allocating large commercial consumers to KPLC and small domestic consumers to the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) and moving energy generation to clean energy sources only.
|Draft Energy (Net Metering) Regulations 2022
|The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) published the Draft Energy (Net Metering) Regulations, 2022; intended to support the introduction of a net-metering regime in Kenya. The Regulations seek to enable electricity prosumers to dispose excess energy to the national grid and earn credits through net metering.
|Environmental Management and Coordination Act 1999
|Sets out laws for the overall management and sustainability of the environment and its inhabitants
|Energy Act 2019
|Consolidates all laws relating to energy in Kenya and properly delineates the functions of the national levels of government in relation to energy, provides for the exploitation of renewable energy sources and regulates midstream and downstream petroleum and coal activities.
|Petroleum Act 2019
|Provides laws and regulations for activities particularly in the upstream petroleum industry.
|Standards Act 2019
|Promotes the standardisation of the specification of commodities and codes of practice by establishing the Kenya Bureau of Standards to oversee its enforcement
|Electric Power (Electrical Installation Work) Rules 2006
|Sets out the requirements for the licensing of electricians and electrical contractors
|Kenya Electricity Grid Code 2008
|Consists of technical regulations with respect to generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electrical energy
|Power Purchase Agreements
|These are agreements between generating companies or IPPs and the KPLC. A PPA is typically for a duration of 20-25 years.
|Network Service Contracts
|These are contracts stipulating the terms for the transmission and usage of grid infrastructure
|Electricity Supply Contracts
|These are contracts for the sale of electrical energy, transmission, or distribution services, between and among licensees, and between licensees and large retail consumers
LICENSING AND PERMITTING PROCESS
The Energy Act 2019 provides that a license application must first be made by the licensee to the EPRA. However, the person seeking to participate in the operations of generation, exportation, importation, transmission, distribution, and retail supply of electricity in Kenya, will not require a license for electrical energy generated for personal use or for a capacity not exceeding one (1) megawatt.
LAND ACQUISITION AND OWNERSHIP RIGHTS
The Energy Act of 2019 promotes investment into energy through its provision that mandates the National and County Governments to facilitate the acquisition of land to carry out infrastructure projects relating to energy in accordance with the law.
INCENTIVES AND FISCAL POLICIES
The electricity sector in Kenya provides several incentives for foreign and local investors participating in the sector. They include electricity expense rebate, corporate tax, insurance, stamp duty, income tax and VAT exemptions, etc.
The Energy Act, 2019 empowers the EPRA to set, review and adjust electric power tariffs and tariff structures and investigate tariff charges, irrespective of whether a specific application has been made for a tariff adjustment. The average tariff is about $0.16/kWh, with large firms paying $0.12 and SMEs $0.22 kWh due to their significant contribution to economic development in Kenya.
Aggregate Technical Commercial &Collection (ATC&C) losses/system losses, metering, billing, and collection are established investment benchmarks in Kenya.
There is a recurring demand for debt financing to support electricity installation and metering activities. International organizations are the primary financiers of bankable power projects in the country, while some participants have engaged in self-financing and savings as a source of funding for respective projects.
PROJECTS AND TENDERS
Procurement is carried out by the Supply Chain Management department of the EPRA and it is guided by the Public Procurement Act of 2005 and the Public Procurement Regulations of 2006. The EPRA advertises tenders requesting suppliers who may be interested to supply various categories of goods or services to participate. Suppliers who submit an expression of interest are evaluated based on the criteria in the tender document and those who qualify are included in the EPRA list of suppliers over the period stated in the document.
INVESTMENT LAWS, FOREIGN PARTICIPATION AND LOCAL CONTENT
The Kenyan Investment Promotion Act (KIPA) of 2004was enacted by an Act of Parliament to promote and facilitate investment by assisting investors in obtaining the licences necessary to invest and by providing assistance and incentives for other related purposes. The Kenyan Investment Authority (KIA) is established to enforce the provisions of the KIPA. In addition, the KIA has an officer from the KPLC who assists registered investors to obtain power connection and other power-related issues.
For local content, an annual and long-term local content plan which corresponds with the work program must be prepared and submitted by participants to the EPRA for approval. The local content plan should also ensure that Kenyans are given first consideration regarding employment at all levels of the value chain and adequate provisions are made to train Kenyans on the job.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ELECTRICITY SECTOR
|Lack of adequate finance
|Private participation in the electricity sector is encouraged
|Fragmented energy access market
|The energy market in Kenya has potential for being cost-effective and transparent
|Lack of adequate infrastructure
|Locally manufactured infrastructure to facilitate access to electricity
- In 2019, Kenya established EPRA and the REREC to take over ERC and REA respectively. Also, the NPEA was established for operations geared at utilising nuclear power as an energy source.
- KPLC on 12th March, 2021 launched a 33/11kV substation in Mtondia, Kilifi County to improve the quality of power supply in the area and cater for a growing customer base
- KPLC has rolled out a smart metering project that will benefit 55,000 customers in the Small and Medium Enterprise sector across the country to be completed by 30th June, 2021
- In October 2020, KPLC partnered with the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) to enhance public awareness on the danger of unsafe use or accidental contact with electricity
- In January 2022, KETRACO was designated as the national System Operator for Kenya’s electricity grid. It should be noted that this role was previously undertaken by KPLC.
- In January 2022, Kenya accelerated reforms in the energy sector to lower the cost of power and invest more in renewable energy in a bid to spur economic development. Many Kenyans can attest to a significant drop in their electricity bills. Key emphasis here is that while they targeted a 15 percent reduction in power costs, the low tier customers are enjoying a reduction of up to 23 percent. Furthermore, the government is in talks with independent power producers (IPP), to further lower the cost of power.
- Climate Change (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to amend the current Climate Change Act No.11 of 2016 to provide a legislative framework for Kenya’s participation in domestic and international carbon markets in pursuance of Kenya’s obligations under the Paris Agreement. The proposed Climate Change Amendment Bill will establish a National Carbon Registry and provide the guiding principles governing trade in the carbon market. The Carbon Trading Bill, if enacted, will be applicable to the following carbon resources: rangelands, forests, biodiversity and genetic resources, soil, public land, private land, community land, surface, and groundwater, in addition to renewable energy including wind, solar and geothermal.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION AND JUDICIAL STRUCTURES
The Energy and Petroleum Tribunal was established by the Act for hearing and settling disputes relating to the energy and petroleum sector in accordance with the Act or any other relevant written law in Kenya. The Tribunal has original jurisdiction in matters between licensees on one hand and licensees and third parties on the other hand. It has appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the EPRA and any licensing authority. In addition, the Tribunal has the power to grant equitable reliefs, injunctions, penalties, damages, specific performance among other things.
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All source referencing is contained in our Legal and Regulatory Briefs per Country. The Glossary of Terms referenced in this factsheet can be found in our Glossary of Industry Terms.