Kenya is among several African countries that have formally expressed interest to join the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium, launched Saturday during COP28, which could change Africa’s energy landscape by developing advanced energy storage solutions through collaboration and innovation.
- Joining the BESS Consortium, a multistakeholder partnership initiative of the Global Leadership Council, commits members to participate in efforts to reach energy storage commitments of 5 GW through the end of 2024.
- This will in turn provide a roadmap to ultimately achieving 400 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
- Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo have formally expressed interest to join the Consortium.
Barbados, Belize and India have also joined the BESS Consortium.
“Barbados is committed to playing a leading role in urging concrete deliverables on climate and climate financing. We are here with the BESS Consortium because we support their efforts to improve access to battery energy storage systems as part of the energy transition in countries like ours,” Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, said.
These countries are expected to receive support from BESS Consortium resource partners that include the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Africa50 and Masdar.
- Resource partners will help prepare projects, improve the regulatory environment and unlock private and public investment.
- Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), has been earmarked as the Implementing Agency for the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) as part of the Kenya Green and Resilient Expansion of Energy (GREEN) program, funded by the World Bank.
- A pilot installation of the BESS capacity is being considered for several key regions, including Central Rift, Coastal Region, Mount Kenya, Nairobi, North Rift, and Western Kenya. The specific project site selection will depend on the outcomes of a forthcoming Feasibility Study (FS), conducted by KenGen, in collaboration with designated FS Consultants, who will recommend the most suitable locations for BESS installations
Preliminary findings from the analysis have underscored the critical need for Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) within the national electricity infrastructure. The BESS will serve as a crucial repository for surplus energy generated from geothermal and Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) sources, enabling improved electricity service delivery to Kenyans.
“Malawi is committed to maintaining a renewable energy generation pathway for a sustainable future – and it’s projects like the BESS Consortium that will make our low carbon pathway a reality. We need more projects like that,” said in response to the announcement, Malawi’s President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.
Mauritania’s Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy, Nany Ould Chrougha believes that the need for battery storage is paramount for the country, which already records 40% reliance on renewable energy, and is set to become increasingly dependent, particularly, on solar and wind power.
“The African Development Bank is proud to be at the forefront of this transformative journey, leveraging strategic partnerships and financial commitments to drive progress,” Dr Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President, said.
The Global Leadership Council is a high-level coalition of global leaders brought together by the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. It includes leaders of multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, international agencies, NGOs, corporate executives, and government representatives.