Kenya: Spike in Hydro-Power Production Capacity to Cut Electricity Costs - Chirchir
Nairobi — The Ministry of Energy Saturday announced an expected rise in hydroelectric output as a result of improved water inflows at the Seven Forks Dams, which will lead to reduction of fuel-driven generation.
Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, in a statement released on Saturday, said this will allow the Kenya Energy Generating Company (KenGen) to maximize hydro production which yields far much cheaper power than thermal generators.
The CS noted before the rains, the Seven Forks' water levels had dropped, bringing the dams' share of the nation's electricity mix down to roughly 30 per cent.
Since the heavy rains started, however, Chirchir noted the share has increased to almost 82 per cent.
"The good news is, that the surge in hydro power is expected to play a crucial role in stabilizing the cost of electricity, providing a buffer against the volatility of fuel prices on the international market," he said.
"This development will likely have a positive impact on the cost of living for Kenyans, as energy costs are a significant component of household and industrial expenses."
The Seven Forks dams namely; Masinga, Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma, and Kiambere produce a combined capacity of 600MW when operating at maximum load.
The CS said the Ministry has initiated several measures to ensure stability and efficiency of power generation during the rainy season.
Measures in place include optimization of water usage in all the dams to maximize hydropower output while preventing spillage and wastage.
The government, Chirchir said, has also bolstered the grid infrastructure to handle the increased power supply, ensuring that its benefit translates to reliable energy for all Kenyans, even in remote locations.
"In the long term, the Ministry envisions a robust energy sector with a diversified mix, wherein hydropower plays a pivotal role alongside other renewable sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy," he said.
"We believe that as hydropower technology advances, energy costs will decrease, and Kenya will become a more competitive player in the world economy."
Chirchir assured Kenyans that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum will remain vigilant and proactive, constantly seeking ways to harness natural resources responsibly and sustainably for the benefit of all citizens.
"Consequently, we are upping generation activities in the lower dams notably Kamburu, Gitaru, Kindaruma, and Kiambere to ensure we optimize the increasing levels of water we are getting and at the same time give Kenyans reprieve in the form of cheaper power," he stated.