Kenya’s wind installed capacity is 5.1 MW, operated by KenGen at the Ngong site. High capital cost and lack of sufficient wind regime data are some of the barriers affecting the exploitation of wind energy resources. Moreover, potential areas for wind energy generation are far away from the grid and load-centres, requiring high capital investment for the transmission lines.
The Ministry of Energy developed the Wind Atlas in 2003 to provide investors with indicative data on the strength and location of wind resources in Kenya. To augment the information contained in the Wind Atlas, the Ministry, with the assistance of Development Partners, is installing 53 Wind Masts and Data Loggers to collect site-specific data.
The low exploitation level of the resource prompted the Government to develop the Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) Policy which provides for a tariff not exceeding US Cents 11.0 per Kilowatt-hour of electrical energy supplied in bulk to the grid for wind generated electricity.
There are high wind speeds in various parts of northern Kenya and other arid lands. Preliminary wind resource assessments show that wind regimes in certain parts of Kenya (such as Marsabit, Ngong and the Coastal region) can support commercial electricity generation as they enjoy wind speeds ranging from 8 to 14 metres per second (m/s). Specific areas that have been identified for wind power generation are Marsabit, Laisamis, Turkana and Samburu.
These areas have potential to produce over 1,000 MW of wind power for sale to the national grid. This preliminary assessment has been used to develop a wind map for the whole country. To facilitate decision-making in wind power generation investment, the government is undertaking wind data logging in high potential areas of Kenya. However, detailed feasibility studies would be carried out to determine the viability of specific sites identified in the wind map. The Kenya Government would, therefore, like to invite the private sector to invest in wind power electricity generation.