State banks on KenGen's clean energy to cut costs

Energy PS Alex Wachira when he appeared before the National Assembly Commitee on Energy on May 15, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Ministry of Energy has challenged KenGen to increase its renewable energy as one way of reducing the high cost of electricity in the country.

The ministry noted that the country had ample sources of green energy like geothermal, wind, hydro, and solar, which if fully utilised, could see the country phase out thermal power.

According to the Principal Secretary (PS) in the State Department of Energy Alex Wachira, KenGen remained a key player in the energy sector by contributing up to 75 per cent of energy in the country.

In a report published in the company’s weekly newsletter, Wachira challenged the company to focus on growing the base load of electricity using renewable energy sources.

“KenGen has the capacity to tap into geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar energy, and this will help drive down the cost of electricity,” he said.

The PS lauded KenGen's consistency in delivering value to shareholders, which he attributed to its corporate strategy that had seen the company grow revenue streams.

"Going forward, KenGen must grow its business as it remains a major player in the energy value chain, contributing between 67 and 75 per cent of electricity consumption at any time," he said.

Earlier, the company embarked on the revamp of the Olkaria I geothermal power plant in Naivasha with plans to increase the power supply by an extra 20 megawatts (MW).

According to Kengen Geothermal Development General Manager Peketsa Mangi, the power plant was shut down to pave the way for the work.

Mangi is optimistic that the revamped plant would be bigger and stronger as the contractor moved in to replace the old turbines. “The power plant was originally generating 45MW, but we expect this to rise to 63MW when the rehabilitation exercise was done in a couple of years,” he said.

The senior officer said the deficit caused by the shutting down of the old power plant had been addressed by 86MW from Olkaria I (unit 6) plant.

Mangi announced that work on the $2.8 million (Sh390 million) Geothermal Training Centre in Naivasha would start soon.

Premium Top KNTC officials questioned over Sh16.5b cooking oil import
Premium Costly electricity tariff leaves Kenya Power with Sh35b bills
'Cyber security key barrier to digital economy among small businesses'
NCBA celebrates financing of over 4000 vehicles, sets aside Sh2b for emobility