Renewables top 90% of Kenyan power with new 50 MW solar plant

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya brought a new 50 megawatt (MW) solar plant online on Friday which it said would mean renewable energy, led by hydroelectricity, now makes up more than 90% of its power mix.

The government is increasing electricity generation and investing in Kenya’s power grid to keep up with growing demand and reduce frequent blackouts in the east African country. But Kenya’s solar energy is still small compared to other sources.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office said the new solar plant, which has been built by the state-run Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation, was the biggest in East and Central Africa. It will contribute 2% of Kenya’s energy mix.

Most of Kenya’s electricity is already generated by renewable sources with geothermal ranked the second-biggest source of installed power generation after hydroelectricity.

“The 50MW solar plant has increased the share of renewable energy in our energy mix to more than 90%,” Kenya’s Ministry of Energy said on Twitter. It did not give details of the plant’s cost or how it had been financed.

Kenya ranks 40th worldwide in EY’s renewable energy country attractiveness index, which was issued in November.

Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Alexander Smith

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