Kenya, without a doubt has made large strides towards green energy sources. Under the Vision 2030 economic blueprint, the strategy is to undertake reforms in various sectors that form the foundation of socio-political and economic growth, key among them boosting power generation from renewable energy sources to drive industrial and commercial activities.
Low carbon energy from a mix of geothermal, wind and hydro is already being fed into the national grid, helping to diversify the energy mix and a key driving factor towards the growth of the country’s economy.
The ambitious plan by the Kenyan government to inject 5000+ MW into the national grid in the next five years is already on course. Of the projected capacity, the largest chunk will be from geothermal sources.
Kenya currently has the geothermal potential of 10,000MW. Already 609MW is being produced from the huge untapped potential for base load electricity generation.
Under the 5000+ MW programme through which the Government expects to enhance access to electricity, it is intended to develop a total of 1600 MW of geothermal capacity in Olkaria, Menengai, Baringo, Suswa, Longonot and Akiira.
KenGen, the leading power generating company, has taken the lead in this front and is currently producing 73 per cent of the electricity consumed in country, utilizing various sources of energy to generate electricity ranging from hydro, geothermal and wind.
But even as our installed power capacity continues to increase, numerous economic activities have seen the demand for energy grow by the day thus the 5000+MW is so crucial.
The adoption of county governments, energy intensive activities such as mining, production of iron and steel products, and rapid growth in the manufacturing sector are just but a few drivers for this demand.
The other key sector the government is looking at to achieve Vision 2030 is transport and infrastructure. The vision envisages a country with integrated and firmly interconnected transport infrastructure consisting roads, railways, airports, seaports and waterways. There are various initiatives in this regard.
Amongst the most transformative for Kenya is the Standard Gauge Railway which is expected to use electricity. Others include: establishment of a technology city; development of two resort cities and light rail.
An increase in power production from green energy sources means lower electricity bills for consumers and regular supply, which is key to economic development.