Solar PV for Enhancing Electricity Access in Kenya: What Policies are Required?
Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country's economic development; and yet globally over 1.3 billion people are without access to electricity and 2.6 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. More than 95 per cent of these people are either in Sub-Saharan African or developing Asia and 84 per cent are in rural areas (International Energy Agency, 2015). Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in energy resources but very poor in energy supply, making the region have highest access deficit in electrification rate, only just managing to stay abreast of population growth. Making reliable and affordable energy widely available is therefore critical to the development of the region that accounts for 13 per cent of the world's population but only 4 per cent of its energy demand (OECD/IEA 2014). Although investment in modern energy supply (pre-dominantly electricity) is on the rise, these gains are outpaced by the population growth. To date, more than 620 million people still live without access to electricity and nearly 730 million people use hazardous and inefficient forms of cooking, a reliance that affects women and children disproportionately (IEA 2014) as well as contributes to environmental degradation. While the national average access to grid power connection is estimated at 32 per cent, the rural populations having access is only about 5 per cent (Zhou 2014).