Kenya imports less electricity in 2018 owing to good rains

Kenya imported less electricity and reduced the use of thermal generation in 2018 after good rains boosted hydro generation as well as the coming online of wind and solar power projects.

This is according to the latest economic survey that indicates that electricity imported reduced 43 percent while thermal generation reduced by 39 percent.

Good rains experienced in 2018 not only helped the agriculture sector accelerate from 1.9 percent in 2017 to 6.4 percent last year, but it also had a positive impact on electricity generation.

The latest economy survey indicates that hydro generation rose 43.6 percent to 3,986 gigahertz hours mainly helped by good rainfall experienced in 2018.

During the year, the Lake Turkana Windpower Project with a capacity of 310 megawatts and the 50-megawatts Garissa Solar Power Plant were injected to national grid pushing up the installed capacity by 13.7 percent to 2,711.8 megawatts. During the year, geothermal capacity also increased by 1.7 percent to 663 megawatts while thermal’s also marginally rose from 806.9 megawatts to 807.7 megawatts.

The latest economic survey indicates that 86 percent of electricity was generated from renewable sources comprising geothermal, hydro and wind.

Geothermal generation accounted for 46 percent while hydro generation accounted for 36 percent of the generated electricity in 2018.

Generation from wind accounted for 3 percent. Generation from thermal sources, which is the only non-renewable source reported, accounted for 14 percent of the total electricity generated in 2018.

This helped Kenya reduce electricity imports by 43.3 percent and reduce generation from thermal sources by 39 percent.

The report indicates that demand for street lighting and rural electrification increased by 13.6 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.


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