The Sun Rises in the East (of Africa): A Comparison of the Development and Status of the Solar Energy Markets in Kenya and Tanzania
Energy Policy, Volume 56, May 2013
Hamburg University Working Paper FNU-197, January 2012
35 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012 Last revised: 29 Nov 2014
Date Written: January 27, 2012
This paper describes and analyses the historical development and current status of the solar energy markets in Kenya and Tanzania. It examines the development of both markets since their beginnings in the 1970s, their current size and structure and it presents forecasts for their future development. In addition, it highlights and explains similarities as well as differences between the solar energy markets of these two East African countries. The paper is based on an extensive literature survey that takes account of academic as well as grey literature. The literature review has been complemented by 25 in-depth personal interviews with experts on the East African solar energy market. The solar market of Kenya is found to be one of the world’s leading markets for off-grid solar uses, with an installed capacity of around 10 MWp and over 300,000 solar home systems. The Tanzanian solar market developed much later than the Kenyan market and still remains smaller than its neighbour, with an installed capacity of around 4 MWp and 40,000 solar home systems. In addition to solar home systems, other segments for uses of solar energy in social institutions, telecoms and tourism are also covered. Furthermore, the paper describes a number of differences and similarities between the Kenyan and Tanzanian solar markets and puts forward some likely explanations for these. It then highlights some initial policy implications regarding the regulation and promotion of solar energy in East Africa. Awareness, availability and affordability are found to be major drivers that all need to be present to enable the widespread uptake of off-grid solar technologies in emerging markets.
Keywords: Solar photovoltaic energy, Market development, East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania
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