KenGen assures Kenyan of continuous power supply despite drought

KenGen building in Parklands, Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has reassured the country of full electricity supply despite the ongoing drought that has adversely affected hydro-power plants.

The power-generating company identified geothermal, wind and solar as the alternative sources of energy even as the harsh weather conditions continue to ravage parts of the country

This came as the European Investment Bank (EIB) promised to support the country in its plans to increase green energy and phase out thermal power.

In the last couple of years, the country has faced its worst-ever drought that has affected over 30 counties, leaving millions facing starvation.

Some rivers are drying up, leading to a decline in the number of megawatts produced in various hydropower plants.

According to KenGen acting CEO Abraham Serem, the drought had adversely affected operations in the hydro-power plants with water levels in dams dropping to worrying levels

He was, however, quick to reassure the country of power supply, noting that geothermal and wind power would come in handy to address the deficit.

“Our hydropower plants have been forced to reduce their electricity generation due to the on-going drought but we have a backup plan to make sure there are no blackouts,” he said.

Serem further added that Kenya Power was currently importing over 200mw from Ethiopia, which would come in handy.

“We are currently using geothermal, wind, and solar power in the day and hydro at night as some of the measures to make sure we have enough electricity,” he said.

Serem was addressing the press in Olkaria, Naivasha, after hosting a high-powered delegation team from EIB.

He lauded the bank for the role it had played in supporting various geothermal projects in the geothermal-rich Olkaria.

“Currently, 91 percent of our electricity production is green energy and with help from the European Investment Bank, we can achieve 100 percent by 2030,” he said.

EIB Vice-President Thomas Ostros said they were committed to supporting green energy projects in the country.

He lauded KenGen's efforts and ongoing programme of exploring geothermal power and phasing out thermal electricity.

“Globally, demand for energy is on the rise and the European Investment Bank is keen to support green hydrogen projects,” he said.

Ostros added that the bank had in the last four years used over 41 billion Euros in Africa mainly in supporting green energy projects.

“We recently signed an MoU with the Ministry of Energy that includes supporting renewable energy projects as part of addressing climate change,” he said.

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