The development of offshore renewable energy in Africa is still in its nascent stages, with a number of offshore solar, wind and tidal projects currently going through feasibility studies in countries such as South Africa and Ghana.
Our energy and natural resources lawyers deliver to our clients the focused, innovative sector advice they need, in Kenya and beyond.
We are entering an era of unprecedented demand for power generation and transmission, especially in East Africa. This dynamic, together with the challenges we all face from climate crisis, is creating new opportunities for alternative energies and new technologies.
Our energy clients receive coordinated, across-the-board coverage for their needs, including construction and projects, corporate, competition, regulatory, contractual, trading, litigation/arbitration, dispute resolution and tax issues. We understand the technical, geographical, commercial and geopolitical factors that shape the industry and have first-hand access to contacts, sponsors and decision makers.
IKM has been involved in numerous transactions pertaining to the energy sector, particularly those related to petroleum, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind and coal. We also assist all participants in the oil and gas sector.
Experience has included advising:
- The sponsors of a USD1.8 billion energy project on the development of a 100 MW wind power plant in Kajiado, Kenya
- Senior lenders on the development and construction of a 140 MW geothermal power plant and related facilities in the Rift Valley region in Kenya and the sale of capacity and energy to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company
- An international oil and gas exploration and development company on its rights under a production sharing contract with the Kenyan government for the acquisition of on-shore exploration blocks
- Government of Kenya in a multibillion investment arbitration proceedings filed by Cortec Mining Kenya Limited at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
- The government of an East African country on its oil and gas operations
- The senior lenders on a 981 MW coal-fired power plant in Lamu County, Kenya
- An international company on a grant of concessions over coal mines in Kenya
- The receivers appointed in respect of the sale of wind turbine generators and other assets from a company
- The sponsors on the financing of two 40 MW solar power projects
- Ranked Tier 1 in Projects & Privatization (The Legal 500 2019)
- Ranked Band 2 in Projects & Energy (Chambers & Partners 2019)
- Ranked in Projects & Finance (IFLR1000)
The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) cannot be gainsaid as the elimination of tail pipe emissions is a central part of the climate change offensive. Kenya’s electric mobility ambitions led it to sign the COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles. The brutal truth is that we have little choice about switching to EVs because car manufacturers will over time abandon internal combustion engines (ICEs) given the stance of regions like the EU, which will effect a ban on new ICE vehicle sales by 2035.
A prosumer is a portmanteau of a producer and a consumer. The Energy Act 2019 provides for small producers of renewable energy for their own use to sell their surplus electricity to the national grid, which makes them prosumers. Prosumers only pay for the ‘net’ electricity they consume from the grid through a mechanism known as Net Metering. Draft regulations for Net Metering were released for public comment by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) in June 2022.
Amit Zavery, the head of Google Cloud makes the point that we should “Think of digital transformation less as a technology project to be finished than as a state of perpetual agility, always ready to evolve for whatever customers want next.” The electricity sector in Kenya has been grappling with a plethora of challenges which are often met with a chorus of public outcry. Three of the most prominent issues are reliability, the high costs and accessibility. Digitalisation presents workable solutions for some of these challenges through digital tools such as smart meters, smart grid systems, and blockchain technology.
The call to take action against global warming is only getting louder, driven by the havoc in countries which have been on the receiving end of erratic weather patterns that endanger human life as well as property and adversely impact economies. The clarion call is for all countries to join forces to reduce emissions and keep global warming below the 1.5 degree celsius target which portends catastrophic effects if exceeded.