Kenya: The Next Decade Will See Many New Solar Photovoltaic

Posted on :Tuesday , 20th April 2021

According to the Kenyan Government’s power development plans, the next decade will see many new solar photovoltaic and wind power plants added in the national grid. This new capacity would support in supplying the whole country’s growing electricity demand, resulting from continued economic growth and broadening electrification targeted under Vision 2030. 


The growth of these renewable technologies is expected to deliver considerable benefits to the power sector in the form of lower base load utilization of thermal power plants, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced dependency on drought susceptible hydropower.  


Despite these benefits, the high degree of intermittency of solar photovoltaic and wind does pose unique challenges in maintaining a stable and secure power system. To ensure power supply continuously matches power demand, highly flexible power plants are needed to rapidly balance the varying output from solar photovoltaic and wind.  


Considering these factors, energy storage is set to emerge as an essential part of Kenya’s power sector, as seen in many other countries undergoing similar energy transitions. The main benefit of storage technology is its incomparable flexibility, with the unique ability to respond rapidly to variations in solar photovoltaic and wind output. The result is a stable grid, regardless of renewable intermittency.


Energy storage technology could also support in reducing the frequency of blackout events. Using smart software, energy storage could automatically detect the loss of a major power plant or transmission line. The energy storage system would then step in to cover the lost power supply until a back-up facility is brought online.  


Energy storage is indeed a game changer leading to a fundamental rethinking of how the power sector operates. Improvements in areas such as smart grid applications are on the horizon, which would result in substantial efficiency gains and cost savings.  


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