TOP MARKET CHALLENGES
                                          

 

  • Policy certainty /regulation: Whilst policy and regulation is increasingly certain, it is still not necessarily so compared to those countries leading renewable development globally. To make projects bankable high policy certainty is necessary, and there is still hope that policy and regulation could become more transparent and attractive, especially for solar.  
  • Economic feasibility of projects: This is in particular the case for utility scale solar where there is uncertainty over the extent to which the FiT makes projects viable. It also applies to all other renewable energy sources though as there are high capex for both wind and geothermal, in particular in remote regions.  
  • Stakeholder relations and land access: Local communities and local politicians have been resistant to projects, and in the case of Kinangop are rumored to have led to the project’s abortion. In other cases they have significantly delayed projects. Part of the problem is also that land rights/access is often in the hands of many more stakeholders than elsewhere so it is very difficult to get agreement/ownership. 
  • Energy demand and grid infrastructure: The grid needs significant upgrading to be able to cope with increased supply. It is also unclear whether Kenya will industrialize enough to see the electricity demand for renewable energy projects materialise
  • Financing projects: Much as it a challenge for renewable energy projects anywhere this is exacerbated in a  relatively high-risk frontier market with lots of uncertainty like Kenya
  • Identifying customers/the right stakeholders: In a new market it can be difficult to identify exactly who the buyers are. This is in particular the case in the C&I sector.  
  • Navigating a new marketplace and its cultural particularities: Doing business the right way and meeting with local expectations and practices is key.  
  • Working with a range of stakeholders with conflicting interests: Throughout a project there are often a number of different stakeholders influencing the path it takes, winning them all over/achieving buy-in is complicated by their number.