Kenya To Get Rid Of Thermal Generators In A Bid To Lower Power Cost
Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter has unveiled plans to phase out thermal power generators in favor of clean energy projects.
CS Keter announced that the government will not renew licenses of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) which rely on expensive thermal diesel-powered generators.
The move is expected to reduce the cost of power which is still high despite the growth in production of cheaper power in the country.
The phase-out will start with Iberafrica Power Plant whose 56MW contract expires next month. Other firms put on notice include; Tsavo Power’s (74MW) and 60MW-Kipevu Diesel whose expiry expires in 2021 and 2023 respectively.
Thermal plants will be replaced by cheaper power plants, the first plant to be decommissioned will be replaced with 165MW Olkaria V geothermal project set to be commissioned in October.
Speaking during re-branding of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority(EPRA), CS Keter said, “The one that is going is about 50MW, we are putting in 165MW, three times that, which is going to compensate. Next year we are having another 83MW of geothermal coming in.”
Kenya’s proportion of renewable energy increases rapidly, according to the Economic Survey 2019, in 2018, the rate stood at 86 percent compared to 75.5 percent in 2017.
“The substantial growth in hydro, wind and solar energy led to a considerable decline in generation from thermal sources (39.0 percent) and electricity imports (43.3 percent) during the review period,” the report stated.
The country also receives tremendous investments in the green energy sector both from the state and private parties. In partnership with the World Bank, the government launched the Kenya National Electrification Strategy (KNES), which identifies least-cost options for improving electricity access to Kenyans.
Featured Image Courtesy:theeastafrican.co.ke