Renewable Energy in the East African Communitys and its Role in Sustainable Development


Liudmila Kalinichenko


The article analyses the role of renewable energy in the process of the development of the energy market of the East African Community (EAC) . The author underlines the necessity of finding solutions for such challenges as rising wood and charcoal prices, deforestation, lack of affordable and reliable electricity for a large number of consumers. The study reveals that nowadays the percentage of people with access to modern sources of energy is very low, varying from 7 % in Burundi to 36% in Kenya, although the EAC countries made significant progress in 2000s. Most people in rural areas rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, which leads to ecological and health problems. The author concludes that renewable energy development is considered by the Community as one of the prospective ways for providing energy to remote regions in view of abundant solar, wind and geothermal resources. Their strategy aims at the construction of micro and mini hydro stations, stand-alone solar PV systems and off-grids for rural population usage. The study shows that the investment in off-grid renewables has been steadily rising in recent times . Analyzing grid-connected power generation electricity, the author elicits that it is also based on renewable electricity, which accounts for 65% of the total amount. Kenya, with the highest installed capacity in this sector, is investing mainly in geothermal, solar and wind sources of energy, while the others are focusing on hydropower and solar. For the purpose of attracting private investment, the EAC partner states adopted different regulations, including Feed-in Tariff, zero-VAT and GET FIT Programme. The author assumes that renewable energy financing is one of the main challenges despite the support of different international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, UNIDO, AfDB and others. Nowadays energy efficiency measures are becoming important instruments for the EAC countries resulted in power savings. The other important trend is increasing cooperation among them due to their grid-connected power systems in the East African Power Pool. In this context, in November 2017, the EAC Partner States adopted Energy Security Policy Framework, in order to ensure the sustainable development of their energy sector.


the EAC partner states, renewable sources of energy, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, Feed-in Tariff, mini hydro station, off-grids, traditional biomass, power pool




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