Energy for What? Contemporary Energy Issues & Dilemmas in Kenya

In 2018, the Society for International Development (SID) published Energy for Whom? Scenarios for Eastern Africa. This short booklet offered three imagined futures for energy in Eastern Africa up to the year 2050. 

Would the region be committed to the large-scale technologies of the 20th century? Would new energy systems exploit the region’s renewable solar, wind and geothermal potential? Or would multiple distributed, small-scale energy systems evolve to meet local necessities? In any energy future, what would be the  impact on people’s lives? 

Following the scenarios work, SID, in 2021, published a Compendium of energy in Kenya.

Since the end of World War II in the mid-1940s, the growth of human societies and consumption has accelerated to the point where we are now hitting critical planetary limits, including the risk of catastrophic climate change. These limits pose multiple dilemmas for leaders around the world, with an unusually difficult challenge for East Africans who can no longer pursue a path of ‘development as usual’, especially in energy.

In this situation, what energy choices now exist to modernize the economy and improve peoples’ lives? How will important energy choices be made?

Kenya’s Compendium of Energy explores the details of today’s energy challenges in one country, using statistical graphs, diagrams and photographs as illustrations. 

The report was launched on 8th December 2021, in Naivasha (Kenya) and has been produced by the Society for International Development with the support of The Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nairobi Office.