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Assessing transition pathways to low-carbon electricity generation in Kenya: A hybrid approach using backcasting, socio-technical scenarios and energy system modelling

The authors say that many of Kenya’s development choices will determine its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions pathways in the short and long term. In the study, the environmental and economic impacts of renewable energy and thermal power technologies were evaluated based on six alternative scenarios using the LEAP-Kenya-Centralized-Electricity model to represent different development pathways of Kenya’s electricity generation future from 2010 to 2040.

Anderson Kehbila, Robert Karisa Masumbuko, Philip Osano, Mbeo Ogeya / Published on 27 July 2021

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Citation

Kehbila, A., Masumbuko, K., Ogeya, M. and Osano, P. (2021). Assessing transition pathways to low-carbon electricity generation in Kenya: A hybrid approach using backcasting, socio-technical scenarios and energy system modelling, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition 1:100004. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.rset.2021.100004.

This paper establishes a bottom-up LEAP-Kenya-Centralized-Electricity model to simulate the mitigation potential of chief atmospheric pollutants and GHG emissions from 2010-2040 under different scenarios: Business as Usual (BAU), Vision 2030+Least Cost Power Development Plan (VLCPDP), and four low-carbon scenarios spanning Full Renewables (FRE), UN Agenda 2030 SDGS (SDGs) and AU Agenda 2063 (AU). A comparative analysis of the alternative generation scenarios is presented and assesses multiple indicators including electricity demand, technology stocks, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, marginal abatement costs, and air pollution health impacts.

Total electricity demand is projected to reach 57.4 thousand gigawatts-hours by 2040 under VLCPDP and the low-carbon scenarios; 11.8% greater than the BAU scenario. Total GHG emissions under SDGs and AU will be 99.7% and 97.6% lower than VLCPDP whose GHG emissions will be 14.7% greater than BAU. PM2.5 concentration in both BAU and VLCPDP will increase by 0.54µg/m3 by 2040. Besides, renewable energies will account for 99% of total electricity generation capacity under SDGs 2 in 2040; 26.7% and 20.9% higher than BAU and VLCPDP respectively. Importantly, FRE and SDGs 2 emerged as the most promising scenarios for achieving the highest greenhouse gas abatement potential and least impacts on human health at least costs.

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SEI authors

Anderson Kehbila

Programme Leader

SEI Africa

Robert Karisa Masumbuko

Philip Osano
Philip Osano

Centre Director

SEI Africa

Mbeo Ogeya
Mbeo Ogeya

Research Fellow

SEI Africa

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Related centres
SEI Africa
Regions
Kenya

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