Electricity demand rises sharply as economy picks up pace

Electricity consumption has risen sharply over the last two months as economic activities pick up pace following months of subdued demand.

The lull had been occasioned by measures put in place by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The restrictions, which included dusk to dawn curfew, combined with the slowdown in economic activities resulted in reduced demand for products.

These saw industries cut down on power consumption.

Peak demand dropped to around 1,760 megawatts (MW) in May compared to the average peak demand of 1,882MW recorded in 2019. This has however been growing in the recent past as the government relaxes some of the restrictions.

Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KeGen) Chief executive Rebecca Miano said power demand in the recent past surged to levels that been recorded before Covid-19 hit.

Peak demand

She noted that peak demand recorded over the last few weeks had reached 1,944MW, compared to 1 804MW in February.

“Demand had dropped following the restrictions put in place after the country reported the first case of Covid-19, forcing industries to operate fewer hours owing to factors such as the dusk to dawn curfew while producing less due to depressed demand,” she said during a virtual briefing Tuesday.

“The impact on demand was more pronounced between April and June. The situation has normalised and demand is growing steadily. Demand has gone higher than even the pre-covid-19 February figures.”

During the briefing, Miano also said KenGen is in talks with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services on the possibility of setting up a power generating plant in Dandora that will use garbage to produce electricity.

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