Energy Law

Structure and Ownership of the Power Industry

 1.1 Law Governing the Structure and Ownership of the Power Industry

The principal law governing the ownership and structure of the power industry in Kenya is the Energy Act No 1 of 2019, which was enacted to align the energy sector with the Energy Policy, 2018 and the devolved functions of the national and county governments in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Assets in the generation segment are primarily state-owned through the Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), which produces approximately 63% of the power generated in Kenya.  Other players in this segment include Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC), as well licensees in various off-grid generation systems. The transmission segment is presently 100% state-owned, with the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) mandated to operate high-voltage transmission lines. The distribution segment is dominated by Kenya Power & Lighting PLC (Kenya Power), which until recently was the sole retailer and system operator in addition to owning and operating part of the transmission infrastructure and the entire distribution network in the country. Over the last few years, this segment has seen the introduction of privately owned distribution and electricity retail players.

1.2 Principal State-Owned or Investor-Owned Entities

 1.3 Foreign Investment Review Process

Foreign Investment RestrictionsBoth foreign and local investors are entitled to apply for an Investment Certificate subject to a minimum level of investment (USD100,000 and KES10 million, respectively). “Foreign assets” are defined in the Foreign Investments Protection Act to include:

  • foreign currency, credits, rights, benefits or property;
  • any currency, credits, rights, benefits or property obtained by the expenditure of foreign currency, the provision of foreign credit, or the use or exploitation of foreign rights, benefits or property; and
  • any profits from an investment in an approved enterprise.

Trends in Kenya’s Electric Mobility Transition: Opportunities and Challenges


Globally, electric mobility (e-mobility) is rapidly gaining momentum with massive technology and capital deployed by investors in electric vehicles (EVs). Pursuant to the latest EV report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric car markets are seeing exponential growth as sales exceeded 10 million in 2022. A total of 14% of all new cars sold were electric in 2022, up from around 9% in 2021 and less than 5% in 2020. As e-mobility uptake rapidly progress globally, it is necessary to assess Kenya’s state of readiness for EV adoption.

Electrification of transportation is at the forefront in the climate change discussion in Kenya given that the transport sector accounts for more than approximately 13% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country. GHG emissions from the transport sector have been on an upward trend in line with the growth in the number of motor vehicle registrations in the country; a statistic which is expected to continue rising owing to urbanisation and increasing incomes.

Despite the growth in motor vehicle registrations, it is estimated that only about 1,350 EVs have been registered in the country (as of February 2023).