Kenya in top five clean energy investors

Kenya is the fifth leading investor in clean energy among developing countries, a new survey has shown.

New data by American energy research firm Bloomberg NEF shows that Kenya is among five countries in the developing world that lead the pack in terms of both clean energy financing and installation.

"Kenya appears for the first time in the Climatescope top five. The country is gradually increasing its share of non-large hydro renewables by adding solar, wind and geothermal,” said the report.

As a result, in 2018, the study titled “Emerging Markets Outlook 2019” found that non-hydro renewables accounted for 38 per cent of the country’s capacity as well as 49 per cent of generation.

Kenya also recorded its highest ever clean energy investment at Sh140.8 billion ($1.4 billion).

This accounted for over a third of all foreign investment into sub-Saharan Africa that year.

In absolute numbers, the report said that 2018 was also the year sub-Saharan Africa experienced a record year of clean energy inflows at Sh261.5 billion ($2.6 billion).

“Kenya and to a lesser extent South Africa were primarily responsible, accounting for just under two-thirds of the 2018 total,” noted the report.  

However, this was just over one-tenth of the total foreign flows Africa received from between 2018 and 2019.

“[Yet] Climatescope nations account for 82 per cent of the global population and produce about two-thirds of global CO2 emissions,” noted NEF.

This forced the countries to step up efforts where in 2018, developing nations added up to 201GW of new power-generating capacity to their grids with clean energy (non-large hydro renewables) accounting for just over half the total at 107GW.

“Among the clean technologies, solar led the way with 66GW installed in 2018, followed by wind with 29GW. Small hydro, biomass and geothermal combined saw 12GW added to emerging economies,” said the report. 

Fossil fuel-fired capacity, on the other hand, accounted for just a third of all new capacity added in developing nations in 2018.

As to the source of clean energy financing, the study conducted in November 2019 found that up to 73 per cent of such funds come from outside as 23 per cent were domestic sources.

To arrive at the ranking, the study assessed a total of 104 developing nations on up to 167 indicators where India tops followed by Chile, Brazil, China and Kenya.

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