Drivers of energy transitions: Analysing factors promoting energy policy changes towards renewable energy development in Kenya.
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East-African countries have recently undergone socio-technical transitions towards the development of low-carbon technologies. Understanding the dynamics characterising these transitions can facilitate the steering of current and future global developments of clean solutions and the extrication of inherent interrelation existing between the North and the South. Transition theories have been largely utilised to investigate recent energy transition in Northern countries’ contexts. It has been barely applied to assess the complex dynamics behind the occurrence of energy transitions in least-developing contexts. Using the lenses of the multi-level perspective, this dissertation investigated the drivers of socio-technical transformations and governance changes occurred between 2006 and 2015 in Kenya: It has analysed the role that international energy regimes have in originating purposive transitions, facilitated by changes in governance arrangement and empowering policy strategy that have enhanced the competitiveness of clean technologies with mainstream technology. The study provides a comprehensive understanding of the macro (socio-technical landscape), meso (socio-technical regime) and micro level (socio-technical niches) of socio-technical systems driving the diffusion of renewables’ utilisation in Kenya. Results showed that the Kenyan transition has been characterised by a high-level coordination to integrate international articulating pressures, however, the transformation of the energy sector would not have been possible without the collection of resources available externally the incumbent regime. The process of power devolution has been found to have positive effects on the quality and extension of renewable energy electrification, whereas the stretch-and-transform strategy has underpinned private investments in green technology.