Geothermal project shows we mean business
The Ministry of Energy, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen and financiers have done a good job. The impact of this project on our lives and Kenya’s development is transformative. KenGen devised a pioneering geothermal technology, which has enabled Kenya to harness wells instantly upon drilling, saving us the five years it usually takes to build a traditional power plant. The mobile wellhead unit is an innovation that has revolutionised power generation. As a result, Kenya has made history by delivering the largest single geothermal project in the world. These serial firsts are the kind of examples we require of our organisations. The ministry and KenGen have the leadership that will enable us to steward our development. Patriotism does not reside only in epic feats of valour and heroism. Often, just doing your job well is enough. By injecting 210MW into the National Grid, my Government has been able to cut the cost of electric power by 30 per cent. You will read the good news in your monthly power bills in the coming days. We now have a taste of stable, clean, green power generated locally. My Government has pledged to deliver 5,000MW in 40 months. We are on course to realising this commitment. The benefits of stable, clean, green energy radiate to all sectors of our economy. The cost of living is a challenge we have struggled with for long. The competitiveness of our economy is related to the cost of producing goods and services and the cost of living. Energy costs contribute significantly to the cost of production. My Government’s deliberate efforts to expand power generation and increase supply have made a large dent in the cost of living, and dealt a huge blow against poverty. As manufacturers enjoy cheaper power, the price of goods will begin to fall. Essential commodities, especially food should be more affordable, enabling Kenyans to enjoy better diet and save more money for other needs. This is how real, immediate and personal the impact of this project is. It touches everyone. By ensuring universal access to affordable energy, my Government is able to deliver quality healthcare, improve food security, give better education and increase the wealth of our people. Through rural electrification, we are connecting 250 schools to power every week. Hospitals and dispensaries will now employ technologies that provide high quality care in detecting and treating various medical conditions. Every school will now have light to increase learning and student preparation time, and to cover those parts of the curriculum which use ICT. Food production and agro-processing will benefit immensely from affordable power, enabling us to produce on a greater scale and at lower cost. Manufacturers will expand production and lower costs, making them employ more workers and sell more products. Supporting industries will have to expand to supply the manufacturers. Small-scale growers of raw material will employ electricity to increase production and generate more earnings. Rural enterprises will mushroom as poverty shrinks. In expanding electricity generation and supply, Kenya gets power to fight poverty, hunger, illiteracy and sickness. It is part of the greater struggle that continues after our independence many years ago. As trustees of our freedom fighters and founding leaders, we have vowed to wage this struggle with determination. Prosperity and development bring out the true meaning of freedom. Olkaria IV is a major component of the grand effort in powering freedom. This project is just the first giant step in our journey to energy sufficiency. Our investment in energy infrastructure is in keeping with the transformative agenda. It is also a timely move to realise the founding vision of this nation. Our Founding President urged us to “weld together our natural and human resources in such a manner that essential industrialisation is kept in harmony with the real source of our strength, which is the bounty of our land”. This is a strong signal to the world that Kenya is ready for business and welcoming investors.