In sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya is considered one of the frontier countries in developing long-term electricity planning, locally known as Least Cost Power Development Plans (LCPDP). The LCPDP process, in the now unbundled electricity sub-sector, navigates different stakeholder interests to find a compromise that aligns with national development plans. A review of this multi-stakeholder process reveals various power dynamics and inefficiencies resulting in part in high power prices, which provoked a presidential directive to renegotiate power purchase agreements.  

This research investigates the factors that contribute to the state of integrated energy systems planning in Kenya. The study will focus on the integration of centralised and decentralised energy systems, specifically: the role of governance structures and decision-making processes; power dynamics among different stakeholders and institutions; and the distributional impact of different policies.  

A political economy approach is used to construct the framework through which we will examine the energy system. The use of political economy allows us to situate energy planning processes within a broader social, political and institutional context in Kenya, and to pay attention to the interactions between actors with political and economic interests and the institutional arrangements that shape the planning process and its subsequent implementation. 

The project is situated within workstream (WS) 5a ‘Policies to support CCG investment’. WS5a applies a political economy lens to examine opportunities and barriers, decision making contexts, and transition pathways that support just transitions in CCG partner countries and beyond. 


Document analysis: We analyse key documents such as peer-reviewed literature, grey literature including legislation and industry reports, and media (both mainstream and social) to trace planning and decision-making processes in Kenya’s power sector. 

Key informant interviews with relevant individuals involved in energy planning in Kenya 

Various qualitative data analysis techniques are being applied to the data.


UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources 


The project is funded by the Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) programme, an action-oriented research programme funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to support investment in sustainable energy and transport systems to meet development priorities in the Global South. CCG is aimed at generating robust and effective evidence, tools and frameworks on how countries in the Global South can best respond to the low-carbon transition, support growth aspirations and better meet the SDGs.