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USTDA Holds Energy Storage Workshop organized by ANSI under U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program in Kenya


On May 24-25, 2018, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) hosted the "Energy Storage Standards, Conformance and Technology" workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, which the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) organized under the USTDA-funded U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP). The Kenyan Ministry of Energy (MOE) co-hosted this workshop with USTDA in close coordination with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company Lmt. (KPLC).

More than 70 participants including individuals from government agencies, regulators, utilities, private-sector organizations, standards developers, conformity assessment bodies, trade associations, energy consultants, and individual companies were in attendance.

The objectives of this workshop were to create an early dialogue about the standards considerations for energy storage in Kenya, particularly as the MOE is considering the development of an energy storage strategy to complement the Kenyan National Energy Policy. This workshop brought together leading experts from the public and private sectors, featuring presentations by U.S. and Kenyan participants on related challenges and opportunities for energy storage standards, conformance, and technology development.

The workshop featured U.S. speakers from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), CBK Energy Solutions, Outback Power, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Kenyan representatives from the MOE, Xago Africa, KPLC, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen), and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) gave presentations. Additionally, the South African-based Energy Unit for Aurecon, an engineering and infrastructure advisory company, gave feedback on experiences with grid compliance and the integration of renewable energy in the South African energy market.

Presentations and photos from the workshop can be found on the CESP web site:

Kenyan Energy Storage Market

Kenya is one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most promising markets for the energy storage sector. Integrating energy storage technologies with the growing number of wind and solar projects would increase the capacity of Kenya's electrical grid to include intermittent generation sources. Energy storage could particularly benefit Kenya's telecommunications, manufacturing, and tourism sectors that are highly dependent on reliable power.

As of 2017, Kenya had an installed generation capacity of approximately 2.34 gigawatts (GW) of electricity with on-grid capacity across 42 plants, plus an additional 11.5 MW in 19 off-grid stations in remote parts of the country. Of this installed capacity, around 30% is owned and operated by independent power producers (IPPs), while the remaining 70% capacity is owned and operated by KenGen. The MOE anticipates peak electricity demand will exceed 15 GW by 2031, and the national development strategy, Vision 2030, aims to meet that need through the expansion and diversification of the country's renewable energy generation capacity. Kenya currently has a pipeline of over 2.75 GW of new power generation projects under development, including an estimated 686 MW of solar.

However, despite rapid investments in installed energy capacity and renewable integration, Kenya has been unable to meet its growing electricity demands. Energy storage systems present an opportunity to augment electricity supplies by increasing the viability and affordability of renewable energies as storage devices -including batteries -help to level out power supply to prevent overloads and blackouts. These devices will help Kenya utilize renewables as a supplement to the main grid as well as in stand-alone off-grid sites.

Installation codes, standards, and conformity assessment form the foundation for safe and interoperable electrical systems. As Kenyan utilities, IIPs, and residential property owners consider deployment of energy storage systems, relevant authorities must have the necessary understanding to evaluate these technologies to ensure safety and promote reliability. For this reason, standards are a foundational component to build out Kenyan electrical systems, including distributed generation.

The U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP) and ANSI

This event was the first of five workshops coordinated by ANSI under the second phase of the USTDA-funded U.S.-Africa CESP. The remaining workshops in this phase will likely focus on energy efficiency, energy storage, and interconnection codes.

The CESP provides a platform for industry and government representatives from the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa to cooperate on standardization issues relevant to clean energy technologies, and build the relationships necessary for further technical exchange. The project also supports Power Africa's objectives, including connecting more of the African population to the electrical grid.

Organizations interested in co-sponsoring a CESP workshop are invited to complete the commercial benefit questionnaire for review and approval by USTDA.

For more information on the U.S.-Africa CESP and the "Energy Storage Standards, Conformance and Technology" workshop, including access to the presentations, agenda, photos, and flyer, please visit


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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