Kenya’s power generation would be more than sufficient for the East African country that it would export surplus to neighbouring countries by the end of 2016, according to the Energy and Petroleum ministry.
“Any excess power will be exported to the neighbouring states that will face production deficits,” said Davis Chirchir, Cabinet Secretary in charge of Energy and Petroleum.
Although Kenya had in July doubled electricity imports from Uganda, the country’s Energy ministry is hopeful that Kenya’s power generation would have been ramped up to the projected 5,000MW by the end of 2016 and there would be surplus to export to Kampala. Kenya will also export to South Sudan and Tanzania.
By the end of the year, Chirchir believes the installed capacity of Kenya’s electricity would have reached 2,300MW, adding 700MW to the 1600MW it had at the beginning of 2013.
Kenya has been working on transforming its power sector, exploiting several means of delivering adequate, yet affordable power to Kenyans. The country is working on geothermal, nuclear and wind power sources; drilling one of the world’s biggest geothermal wells in Olkaria, among other geothermal projects (about 50 wells have been sunk). About 300MW of electricity is also expected to be generated from its Lake Turkana Wind power project. Hydropower and diesel fired thermal power however remain the major sources of Kenya’s electricity for now. A nuclear power plant is also expected to be ready by 2025. The country is also collaborating with Qatari firm, Nebras Power Company to build a 500MW gas power plant in Mombasa.
According to Kenya’s economic blueprint, the country must generate 15,000 MW in the next 20 years if it is to realize its vision 2030. Wind and geothermal power seem to present the best opportunity for the East African economic powerhouse to achieve this goal. Good thing is, the two sources can also provide Kenyans with cheap electricity; wind power can go as low as 12 cents/kWh, while geothermal power can go for 2 cents/kWh.