Climate change impacts pose significant hazards for socio-economic development in Kenya, through prolonged droughts, unreliable weather patterns, and the emergence of new pests and diseases.

Under the Paris Agreement, Kenya committed itself to tackling climate change. Its nationally determined contribution (NDC), which builds on the 2013 Kenya Climate Change Action Plan, pledges to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030. At the same time, Kenya’s NDC recognises the country’s development aspirations of becoming a newly industrialised middle-income country by 2030.

Recent scenario modelling work by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) shows that it is feasible to expand Kenya’s power sector to meet growing demand using low-carbon energy options. However, nothing guarantees that power-sector expansion in Kenya will rely only on low-carbon energy solutions, especially given the large financial costs involved.

The authors put forward potential low-carbon energy pathways for Kenya, and put forward key strategies for success.