President lauds KenGen move to renewable energy

KenGen. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The country's push for green energy received a major boost after KenGen pumped an extra 86mw into the national grid.

While commissioning Olkaria I (unit 6) plant, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that Kenya had joined top countries in the world in geothermal production. During the function in Olkaria-Naivasha, the president also commissioned the 172MW Olkaria V geothermal power project that was completed in 2019.

The move propels KenGen's total installed energy capacity to 1,904MW while its geothermal capacity now stands at 799MW.

Uhuru lauded Kengen for the strides made in geothermal exploration noting that the Government was keen to tap more renewable energy.

"Am impressed by the work done by KenGen in geothermal production as this clean is readily affordable at a fair price," he told the staff.

Addressing the press after the exercise, the CS for Energy Monica Juma said that the Government was keen on phasing our thermal power. She said that Kenya was now ranked position 6th globally in terms of geothermal production adding that Kengen was keen to increase this.

"The new power plants will increase green energy into the national grid and the government is keen on tapping more geothermal power," she said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) during the official opening of The Naivasha Inland Container Depot (NICD). [Kipsang Joseph, Standard

Juma noted that the Ministry would continue to fulfill its mandate of providing clean and affordable energy for the nation with a focus on countering climate change.

"The completion of this project marks another milestone in Kenya's efforts towards achieving energy security as well as accelerating economic growth through improved energy access.

On her part, Kengen MD Rebecca Miano said that the 86mw would help stabilize the skyrocketing prices of electricity.

"Through the experiences of this project, we are glad we managed to gain new experiences in geothermal development and commissioning of Olkaria I Unit 6 propels us an inch closer to the Geothermal Gigawatt Club," she said.

Miano noted that the company's geothermal agenda was to increase production in line with the growing demand for power while also ensuring that the business lived up to the expectations of shareholders.

She added that KenGen aimed at delivering more green energy projects in the medium and long-term focused on supporting the Government's economic growth agenda and clean energy development.

"The company is also seeking to deliver over half the capacity from geothermal development and the rest from other clean sources," she said.