The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

For Large Companies, Kenya Represents Fertile Ground

Nearly half of its population lives in poverty, but a stark rise in education and literacy puts Kenya on the shortlist of nations poised for greater prosperity.

When U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the role renewable energy will play in leading impoverished nations to higher standards of living, he may have had Kenya in mind. And if he didn’t, there are some pretty big private companies that do.

The country already gets a vast amount of its energy from hydropower, and now international corporations like GE, Samsung and Toshiba are looking to implement wind, solar and geothermal energy in an often politically tense region known more for its battles with famine than for its potential for renewables. Here’s a rundown of three recent developments that bode well for Kenya, and perhaps eventually, for all developing nations.


The country is in the midst of developing the continent’s largest wind farm -- a 300-megawatt (MW) facility near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. The 365 turbines are expected to be fully commissioned some time next year, and according to the project developers, their addition could supply up to 17 percent of the nation’s total installed grid-connected power.

The project has secured 150,000 acres, and it is being led by a consortium of Dutch and Kenyan experts and investors.


Kenya is already the continent’s largest source of geothermal energy, producing up to 15 percent of the country’s needs. But some companies are betting that the industry can do a whole lot more.

According to Bloomberg, 19 companies -- including GE and Toshiba -- put in bids to develop eight 100-MW geothermal plants in the northwest part of the country. If these sites are to be developed, it likely wouldn’t happen until the tail end of the decade. The state-owned Geothermal Development Company says the nation has a geothermal potential between 7,000 and 10,000 MW.


While wind and geothermal represent changes that can come from utility-scale investment, one company is targeting an audience that lives far from the grid. Samsung recently released a solar-powered laptop that is targeted to the African market, among others.

As part of its Built for Africa campaign, the South Korean company released its 10.1-inch Samsung Netbook NC215S in late August. According to the company, the single solar panel attached to its face helps it achieve 14 hours of battery life.


Rooftop Solar Panels

Hypocrisy? While Buffett Champions Renewables, His Company Fights Rooftop Solar

Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar and Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.
Japan Microgrid

Born from Disaster: Japan Establishes First Microgrid Community

Junko Movellan, Correspondent Although Japan's Fukushima prefecture is most commonly associated with the 2011 disaster due to the nuclear power melt-down, Miyazaki prefecture, located north of Fukushima, suffered from the largest death toll, close to 10...
Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Sponsor/Exhibitor: MIREC Week 2015

Solectria, Pillar, and Variadores together are co-Silver Sponsors! Come ...


EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

Solar Impulse Flying From China to Hawaii

The team behind Solar Impulse, the solar-powered airplane, is prepa...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now