/Kenya sets record-high electricity demand, with hydro scaled up to meet need

Kenya sets record-high electricity demand, with hydro scaled up to meet need

The demand for electricity in Kenya has hit a new record, rising to a peak of 2,036 MW, the highest ever recorded, marking a significant resurgence in demand since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country also recorded a new energy gross demand peak of 36,381 MWh, mostly drawn from renewable energy sources.

National energy generator Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) reports it contributed to the largest jump in renewable energy share, with the company scaling up production in its geothermal, hydro and wind power stations to meet the growing demand.

According to a report by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the total electricity generated by KenGen through its hydropower stations exceeded the period’s projections by 581 MWh, a 5.56% increase. KenGen’s total installed hydro capacity stands at 826 MW.

KenGen’s 225-MW Gitaru, 72-MW Kindaruma, 90-MW Kamburu and 168-MW Kiambere Power Stations were among the hydro stations that surpassed the projected power generation output. They are part of the Seven Forks cascade, which forms a crucial component of KenGen’s power generation infrastructure and about 29% of Kenya’s total installed capacity

KenGen Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Miano said the firm was committed to delivering on its energy generation mandate to meet the country’s growing demand for electricity through renewable energy sources. “KenGen is committed to ensuring steady and reliable supply of competitively priced energy to support Kenya’s economy. The company is doing this by accelerating deployment of renewable energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, wind and solar,” she said.

Miano has reiterated the company’s commitment to support the Government of Kenya’s ambition to achieve 100% use of renewable energy by the year 2030 as a way of fighting climate change. “Our future project pipeline is mostly green which includes geothermal, wind, hydro, and solar. The projects will be implemented in phases with the first, 83 MW Olkaria I unit 6 expected to be commissioned by end of this year,” she said.

Early this year, KenGen joined United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Business Ambition for 1.5°C Campaign, saying it is banking its future on green, affordable and accessible energy, including geothermal, hydro, wind and solar.
By Elizabeth Ingram