Power Up: energy campaign to boost sustainable growth, prepare for climate dangers

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A new campaign is calling for government action to widen access to clean, affordable energy – unlocking sustainable growth, and preparing Kenya for climate risk such as extreme weather.

The Kenyan branch of Power Up – a global campaign unlocking investment in energy access – launched in Nairobi on July 5, presenting nine policy recommendations for national government. Leading energy sector organisations were joined by frontline enterprises to make the case for urgent action.

A new Power Up policy briefing – Powering Rural Growth and Climate Adaptation in Kenya – lists all nine policy recommendations. These include tax relief and policy stability for enterprises, subsidies for small-holder farmers, and the founding of a government-led technical assistance programme.

The briefing also highlights the importance of affordable power in driving improved agriculture and other business opportunities. In a country where farming creates 30% of GDP and 56% of employment, extreme weather and other climate impacts threaten Kenya’s ambition to transform into an industrialising, middle-income country, as set out in its Vision 2030 agenda. 

Investment and new policies are essential to meeting national goals of a 100% renewable energy mix by 2030, and the arrival of 300 billion USD of green investments by 2040.

Power Up will champion the policy recommendations this summer in the build-up to Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Action Summit, two events of global importance taking place in Nairobi this September.

“Kenya can be a continental climate trailblazer”

Power Up campaign members include the ACCESS Coalition, which strengthens civil society organisations bringing clean energy to communities. Membership Manager Florence Gichoya said: “Wealthy nations and financial institutions must boost support for climate adaptation, particularly access to clean and affordable energy. Also, Kenya can confirm its status as a continental climate trailblazer, with energy policies that will help accelerate socio-economic growth for all in the society.”

Elizabeth Ooro is Head of Sales and Marketing at Mwangaza Light, a faith-based social enterprise partnering with churches to enhance energy access, womens’ empowerment and climate action.

 She says: “From personal experience, I have witnessed the transformative impact of clean and affordable energy on both health and economic well-being. The introduction of efficient modern cookstoves has not only saved valuable time for women but also mitigated air pollution and alleviated the strain on our vital forests, which serve as a shield against climate change.

“However, to extend these positive changes to a greater number of lives, it is imperative to secure investments and implement supportive policies. By doing so, we can usher in a brighter future for all.” 

Power Up Coalition members

Globally, Power Up is supported by more than 70 members. Its activities in Kenya have been developed by:

Frontline Kenyan organisations delivering clean energy services, products and training: Sokofresh, Anglican Development Services Eastern, Toolkit, Kakuma Ventures, Mwangaza Light and Solar Freeze.


National energy access bodies: Sustainable Energy Access Forum Kenya, Alliance of Civil Society Organisations for Clean Energy Access (ACCESS Coalition), and the Electricity Sector Association of Kenya. 


Continental and global energy experts: African Minigrid Developers Association, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, Ashden, Global Off-Grid Lighting Alliance.