Kenya kicks ass on renewable energy

Kenya is making strides in the renewable energy space. About 70% of the nation’s electricity comes from renewable sources – more than three times the global average. It’s not perfect – a lot more should be coming from wind and sun – but it’s a pretty huge leap. Last year Kenya also unveiled Africa’s largest wind power plan to reduce electricity costs and dependence on fossil fuels and help meet its ambitious goal of 100% green energy in 2020.⁠

Kenya has one of the highest potentials for wind generation in Africa but is far from its potential so this can still go a long way (cause for excitement too). International aid can help this significantly along with good local policy and incentives. ⁠

Kenyans – and the activist group deCOALonize – have also been fighting off a Chinese-backed coal plant in Lamu; a stunning UNESCO world heritage area off the coast. Last year Kenyan judges halted plans to construct the country’s first ever coal-powered plant there. Dredging had begun immediately disturbing the local people and ecosystem.⁠

At least a quarter of the hundreds of coal-fired power stations across the world are being built or planned to be built with financing (and in this case contractors) from China. You can also track these with the Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Plant Tracker. None of us should be outsourcing pollution; whether that’s building our dirty plants elsewhere or exporting the resources to others instead of helping (financially, open technology) with a quick transition. We need to help each other – country to country – accounting for history, colonization, emissions to date and how we can accelerate forward together. ⁠

P.S. Lis spent a bit of time living in Nairobi so this country is close to our hearts (check out our Country Innovations post for Kenya if you’d like to see amazing eco businesses and ideas there!). ⁠