Active project

Determining Projected Growth In Green Jobs In Kenya.

Active Project

Determining projected growth in green jobs as Kenya transitions to 100% renewable energy by 2030.


To evaluate the market relevant skills needed for Kenya’s green economy transition and explore the policy framework that impacts green job growth.


The study incorporated input-output modeling results, reviewed existing literature on green jobs, conducted surveys, and engaged in a series of interviews with key stakeholders across Kenya’s energy, university, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centers.


The research identified key factors needed to support projected jobs growth in Kenya’s renewable electricity sector; gaps in awareness and training for green jobs; and recommendations for how Kenya’s private and public sectors can transition to a clean energy future. In many ways, Kenya is leading the way in transforming its energy sector and rapidly shifting to renewable energy. Renewable energy already accounts for 73 percent of Kenya’s installed electricity generation capacity, and 90 percent of electricity is generated by green energy sources (i.e., geothermal, wind, solar, and hydroelectric). The country aims to increase that to 100% by 2030.

Kenya green jobs skills study

In September 2021, we embarked on a study to examine the size of current investments in renewable energy in Kenya and to estimate the potential of these investments for creating green jobs. Input-Output analysis conducted by Fijishi researchers estimated that an average of 344,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created through 2040 as Kenya Power increases its new renewable energy capacity. Operating Kenya’s power grid alone will support 110,000 direct and indirect green jobs annually by the late 2030s. Through stakeholder interviews, we found that a focus on two issues would help Kenya to capitalize on these new green job opportunities: addressing the skills gap and improving policy issues that can limit the growth of renewable energy projects.

What skills does Kenya need for green jobs?
As Kenya shifts away from traditional fossil fuels, the labor market requires different skills to design, construct, operate, and repair renewable energy technologies. In addition to technicians and engineers, the renewable energy sector needs chemistry graduates, environmental scientists, geoscientists, social scientists, and other professionals who can work together to ensure that energy growth does not negatively impact on the livelihoods of Kenyans, the natural environment, and our climate.

Are universities and technical training colleges producing graduates with market relevant skills needed for green economy jobs?
Training providers at several universities and technical colleges in Kenya articulated the need for an increase in the number of renewable energy experts teaching in Kenyan institutions and that some schools do not have any experts in renewable energy. What students are being taught is what teachers are familiar with: old traditional skills in which they were trained in the 1970s. Students are not being prepared for the current and future job market needs.

“[Renewable energy] is a new area, and we don’t have enough resource persons; it is a challenge, it is dragging us. We don’t have trained persons in [the technical] areas that match the labor market,” said a national polytechnic trainer.

Gaps in awareness and training for green jobs

Notable gaps identified through the study include lack of adequate skills in wind power, specifically, mechanical skills to maintain, troubleshoot, and repair hydraulic, braking, and electrical systems of a turbine. Graduates also lack skills in micro citing and modeling of wind plant projects, solar photovoltaic maintenance and repair, smart metering, big data analytics, telecommunication skills, biogas technologies, entrepreneurship, customer service, and green hydrogen technology.

Additionally, there needs to be more linkages between the renewable energy industry and academia to help build practical skills and experience in the renewable energy sector. Academia and the energy industry must work together to ensure Kenyans have the skills and experience needed to fill the green jobs over the next 20 years or they will continue to rely on foreign labor.

Supporting an enabling environment for green energy

Managing the transition to a green economy requires coherent policies based on a strong understanding of the interrelationships between environmental factors, policies, and labor markets. The projected growth in green jobs is based on existing and projected renewable energy development. For these jobs to be realized, the renewable energy sector needs to continue to grow and attract investment and policy must flourish with the green economy.

Stakeholders described unpredictable and frequently changing policies in the energy sector that can shake investors and create confusion regarding Kenya’s renewable energy needs. Current licensing and registration procedures for energy projects are seen as long, cumbersome, and costly for private businesses. Stakeholders suggested that the energy sector would benefit from increased cooperation and coordination among government agencies and authorities for a better understanding of the green economy and its economic benefits. By streamlining energy development procedures, policy reform can repair investor hesitation and catalyze the 100% renewable energy transition before 2030.

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