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Kenya's Lighting Situation

44% of Kenyan households are in the dark without access to electricity. Could a shift towards solar energy be the answer to Kenya’s universal electrification goal?

Lighting sources statistics for Kenyan households are as follows:

Use of Electricity - 56%

Use of Kerosene - 40%

Use of Solar Lights: 4%

While the UN is pushing for a greater use of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, only 1% of Kenya’s total energy consumption can be attributed to wind and solar energy, with hydropower and thermal energy being the primary sources.

The Ministry of Energy has been actively promoting the use of solar energy for off grid electrification by funding solar panels for school programs and is looking to extend this to off grid clinics and dispensaries.

Private sector activity has also contributed to the slow but growing use of solar energy in Kenya. They’ve achieved this by providing products that best fit the financial capabilities of rural households, making solar energy accessible to all.

The Nancy Ellen Crooks Foundation’s ‘Lights for Learning’ project supports the initiatives of the Kenyan Government in reaching its objective of ensuring universal lighting to all Kenyan households by 2022.

NECF is contributing by providing school going children with inexpensive solar lights which have gone a long way in helping children with their late-night studying and also provided safe, clean and bright light for their families at night.

The ‘Lights for Learning’ project has also been able to help the UN achieve its Sustainable Development Goals by pushing for an alternative to kerosene lamps whose main energy source is the fossil fuel paraffin.

Did you know facts about electrification in the world?

  1. 3 Billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating

  2. Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions

  3. Since 1990, global emissions of CO2 have increased by more than 46 per cent.

  4. Hydropower is the largest single renewable electricity source today, providing 16% of world electricity at competitive prices. It dominates the electricity mix in several countries, developed, emerging or developing.

  5. Bioenergy is the single largest renewable energy source today, providing 10% of world primary energy supply.

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