Energy performance of grid connected solar PV systems in Kenya - case study Conference Paper uri icon


  • As the benefits and lowering costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology continue to interest residential property developers in Kenya, tertiary education institutions are also beginning to harness the power of the sun for their electricity supply. One such case is at Strathmore University, where a 10kWp system is supplying power to the newly constructed Student Centre on its only campus in Nairobi. Despite the declining costs, PV technology only contributes to less than 1% of the total electricity generated in Kenya. In addition, while discussions on the development of enabling policy frameworks such as national feed-in-tariffs and the different financing options such as green funds from development agencies are on-going, this has not translated into an increased significance of PV in the national energy mix. To incorporate solar PV power into the electricity mix, it is necessary to have reliable methods to predict the energy output and hence to evaluate the economic viability as well as the impact on carbon emissions. In this paper, we use the PV system at Strathmore University as a case study, and use PV system characteristics, insolation data and real-time performance data to analyse system performance and economics and discuss the results in the context of the power needs, policy framework and available financing structures in Kenya. This paper aims at providing practical recommendations. It is desired that, whereas the scope of this paper focused on a small-size installation, the findings will certainly benefit installations of different sizes being currently disseminated in East Africa

publication date

  • 2015


  • Energy
  • Kenya
  • Solar PV system
  • Strathmore University