Kenya Power eyes e-mobility industry for uptake of idle power
Kenya Power is banking on the country’s growing electric-mobility
industry to consume more than 1000 megawatts of unused grid power during
According to the power distributor, the country has an installed capacity of 3,321MW against a peak demand of 2,132MW. However during off-peak hours late at night, the demand drops to about 1,100MW leaving a bulk of power idle.
Kenya Power acting Managing Director Geoffrey Muli says charging electric vehicles especially at night would help bridge the gap between off-peak load available generation capacity as well as raise the average demand to above 1,500MW.
“The Company has consistently invested heavily towards the expansion of the grid’s capacity and its automation to accommodate the exponential growth in demand for electricity and to improve the flexibility of the grid and, in turn, the quality of power supply,” said Muli.
The firm says over the last three years, approximately 90pc of the electricity dispatched to the grid comprises of clean energy generated through renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar, and wind. This rises to 100pc during most of the night off-peak time.
Kenya Power has already submitted e-mobility tariff which if adopted, motorists using electric vehicles would pay Ksh 17 per unit which is Ksh 4 cheaper than households pay.
Speaking during the firm’s inaugural E-mobility Conference on Tuesday, Muli assured e-mobility investors of power stability saying the power utility has invested more than Ksh.40 billion in grid expansion and refurbishment projects to stabilize
Currently, the grid totals about 300,000km in circuit length of the high, medium, and low voltage networks which serve over 9.1 million customers, giving access to over 75pc of the country’s population in all 47 counties.
“We have established a liaison office which acts as our one-stop shop to champion the Company’s e-mobility business. Through this office, we are working with investors and stakeholders to support the development of the e-mobility ecosystem, which entails the identification of sites for potential charging stations and developing requisite geo-mapping software to enable users to locate the nearest charging station,” he added.
Kenya Power is currently undertaking a multi-stakeholder project supported by the European Union that is focused on modelling of the grid network, to analyse the impact of charging infrastructure on the national grid.
“The demand for electric-powered vehicles is expected to accelerate in the coming years with increased awareness of the benefits of e-mobility. We see this as an organic opportunity for us to support the country’s green agenda and to drive demand for electricity, especially at night to bridge the gap between off-peak load and available generation capacity,” said Muli.
The data will be used to develop strategies for management of growth in electricity demand driven by E-mobility. The project also aims to deploy 15 e-motorcycle charging and swapping points at existing petrol stations in Nairobi with the possibility of extending it in Kisumu.
This comes as Treasury plans to roll out tax incentives to increase purchase of e-vehicles in the country as well as avail funds for construction of charging stations along major highways beginning the next financial year.