Energising Development (EnDev) Kenya

Project description

Title: Energising Development (EnDev) Kenya
Commissioned by: EnDev Governing Board comprising of: Directorate-General for International Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), British Department for International Development (DFID), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Country: Kenya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya
Overall term: 2006 to 2019



Kenya's energy framework is one of the most well developed in sub-Saharan Africa. Numerous reforms instituted by the Kenyan Government over the past 15 years have considerably increased competition and efficiency in this sector. For example, between 2011 and 2016, the country’s installed power capacity rose by around 50%, from 1,539 megawatts to 2,341 megawatts. During the same period, access to electricity more than doubled, from about 2,038,625 connections (26% of Kenya’s total households) in 2011, to 4,890,373 connections (over 50% of households) by 2016. Rural electrification rose to 32%, mainly through electricity connections in public facilities and surrounding households.

Despite these achievements, a number of challenges remain, including limited access to electricity in remote areas and here especially the sparsely populated northern region where less than 6% of households are currently connected to the national electricity grid. Power outages are still common due to inadequate transmission and distribution technologies.

Biomass is the predominant source of energy in Kenya. Most primary energy consumption (68%) is derived from biomass and some 90% of rural households rely on it for cooking and heating. Biomass is burned inefficiently, leading to adverse environmental impacts such as soil degradation and deforestation. The use of traditional stoves is a cause of indoor air pollution and thus smoke-related health problems.

Given Kenya's abundant renewable sources, the country has considerable potential for scaling up relevant technologies. In its drive to enhance power generation and increase access to electricity, the Government of Kenya has accorded the private sector a central role, thus opening up a great many business opportunities for renewable energy sector enterprises, German businesses included.


Sustainable access to modern energy services for households, social institutions and small to medium-sized enterprises has increased.


The Energising Development (EnDev) programme is an energy access partnership that is currently financed by six donor countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden. EnDev promotes sustainable access to modern energy services for households, social institutions and small to medium-sized enterprises in 24 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is the lead agency commissioned with implementing the Energising Development programme. GIZ and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) cooperate closely on programme coordination at the global programme level.

Kenya’s Energising Development programme (EnDev Kenya) was launched in 2006 to encourage wider uptake of improved cookstoves. Originally it formed part of a larger programme to promote private sector involvement in agriculture. In 2012, it became an independent programme that was implemented in partnership and cooperation with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoE&P). In the same year, it was expanded to include a component for small solar systems, this time in cooperation with the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV).

EnDev Kenya has two key components: stoves and solar power. However, it also implements the DFID-funded Results-Based Financing (RBF) mechanism which consists of three RBF projects that focus on small solar home systems, higher tier stoves and solar hybrid mini-grids respectively. EnDev Kenya interventions aim to support the private sector to establish a vibrant and commercially sustainable market for modern energy services over the last mile, particularly in rural areas. The project focuses on a variety of technologies ranging from entry level to advanced while targeting different market niches. However, most emphasis is on accelerating market transition and on enabling people to climb the energy ladder. EnDev Kenya also champions a complimentary and participatory approach involving other actors in an effort to support and contribute to the sector’s development. This includes capacity building for devolved governments (county governments) to enable them to drive forward the energy access agenda at grass roots levels.

Stoves component: The stove component promotes the access and uptake of a variety of clean cooking technologies, ranging from artisanal to industrially manufactured improved biomass cookstoves. These stoves are mainly used in rural and peri-urban areas where people predominantly use firewood and charcoal. The accessibility and affordability of these cooking technologies is an integral part of project implementation. The project focuses on establishing and building the capacity of stove dealers (artisans and marketers) to ensure the stoves are available and accessible in rural areas. These dealers also play an important role in awareness raising and consumer education. The promotion of a wide variety of stoves (in terms of design, fuel types and price) ensures that consumers have a good choice, depending on their preference and ability to pay.

Solar component: The project’s solar component focuses on collaboration with the private sector. The aim is to build the capacity of solar product distributors to overcome last mile distribution barriers and to expand appropriate distribution channels, also by educating consumers and raising awareness. Ultimately this makes for good quality, plug-and-play solar home systems that provide lighting and basic electricity services. Technologies range from low cost entry level products to more expensive multi-functional and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems (SHS). The project is focusing more on moving the end users up the solar products/systems energy ladder and on building capacity for technical and after-sales services for solar products in rural areas.

RBF initiative: The DFID-funded Results-Based Financing (RBF) initiative that started in the second half of 2014 has three projects, i.e. a solar RBF (implemented by GIZ through EnDev Kenya), a solar-hybrid mini-grid RBF project (implemented by GIZ through the ProSolar programme) and a cookstove RBF project (implemented by SNV).

  1. Solar RBF project: The RBF initiative provides incentives to financing institutions and distributors of solar products in rural areas in a bid to encourage them to provide affordable and flexible financing schemes for small solar systems, such as affordable loans or pay-as-you go (PAYG) models.
  2. Cookstove RBF project: The aim of this project is to provide incentives to microfinance institutions to develop and scale up flexible financing solutions for higher tier stoves to make them affordable to consumers.
  3. Solar-hybrid mini-grid RBF project: This RBF project provides private sector incentives to reduce the cost of investment in electricity generation and distribution in off-grid areas using solar hybrid mini-grids, especially in the northern parts of Kenya.
Small solar for lighthing © GIZ


By mid-2016, more than 5 million people had access to improved cooking facilities and about 180,000 had access to electric power thanks to small solar systems. Annually, each stove in use saves about 1.09 tonnes of firewood. This investment prevents over 640,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and saves more than 0.5 million tonnes of firewood, which corresponds to 31,000 hectares of natural forest. It has also created income-generating and employment opportunities for about 1,000 people. The use of small solar systems contributes to annual savings in kerosene and services, e.g. for mobile phone charging, totalling EUR 400,000.

Related Themes

Further information