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Costly fuel cuts installed electricity capacity by 2pc

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Kenya’s total installed electricity capacity declined by 2.3pc between 2022 and 2023 as the country cut its power generation from thermal sources owing to increase in fuel prices.

Data from the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate that the country generated 3,243.6 megawatts (MW) of power last year when compared to 3,321.3 MW the country generated in 2022.

During the period under review, installed capacity from thermal oil electricity decreased by 10pc from 681.8MW in 2022 to 613.8MW last year as prices of diesel shot from an annual average of Ksh 139.69 per litre to Ksh 180.33 over the same period.

“Geothermal electricity installed capacity recorded a 1.1pc decrease to 940MW in 2023, while solar capacity remained unchanged at 212.5MW. Hydroelectric power capacity increased slightly by 0.4MW to 839.3MW in 2023,” said KNBS in its 2024 Economic Survey.

However, total electricity generation rose by 3.4pc to 13,423.6 giga watt hours (GWh) from 12,985.4GWh in the review period.

Proportion of Domestic Electricity Generation by Source, 2023. SOURCE | KNBS

Thermal generation decreased by 17.6pc in to 1,305.7GWh in 2023 when compared to 1584.9GWh as KenGen and Independent Power Producers cut their generation capacities to 353.3GWh and 952.2GWh respectively.

Wind electricity generation decreased by 134.9GWh to 2,008.1GWh in 2023. The amount of geothermal electricity generated increased by 9.3pc to 6,032.1 GWh in 2023. However, hydroelectric power generation declined by 12.3pc to 2,666.7GWh in 2023. Solar generation rose from 383.7GWh in 2022 to 491.5GWh in 2023.

Imports of electricity increased from 316GWh in 2022 to 919.3GWh in 2023.

“Imports of electricity almost tripled to 919.3 GWh on account of full operationalization of Ethiopia High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Power plant,” KNBS stated.

KNBS says last year, total electricity demand increased from 12,985.4GWh in 2022 to 13,423.6 GWh in 2023 supported by domestic demand for electricity which increased by 3.1pc to 10,320.6GWh in 2023.

Export sales also increased by 58.6pc to 33.8GWh in 2023. Transmission and distributive losses amounted to 3,069.2GWh, accounting for 22.9pc of total demand in 2023.

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