POWER

Peak electricity demand rises in past two months

This is after more industries resumed operations

In Summary

-          The lockdown in five counties was lifted on 1st of May

-          Electricity consumption has been low due to reduced production

Electricity peak demand in the country has shot up by over 30mw in the last two months as industries resumed operations following the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to  Kengen, the highest peak demand recorded in the country stood at 1,994MW as more industries reopened.

The power generator said the total units of electricity supplied at the height of the pandemic declined to a low of 28,108MWh with a peak demand of 1,661MW in April 2020.

“With the relaxation of containment measures, the electricity demand and supply has gradually grown to 36,225.96MWh and peak demand to 1,994MW,”

Currently, KenGen’s installed capacity stands at 1,818MW which constitutes 64 percent of the total installed capacity in the country.

“In terms of energy contribution, based on the financial year 2019/2021, KenGen contributed 8,237 Gigawatt hours constituting 72 percent of the total energy consumed in the country,” said the statement.

At the same time, KenGen has ruled out introducing electricity rationing in the country despite a drop in water levels in Masinga Dam which is the country’s largest hydro-power station.

According to the electricity generator, the hydropower plants in the country would run optimally throughout the year due to good hydrology.

This came as it emerged that peak electricity demand in the country had shot up from 1,661MW at the height of Covid-19 to 1,994MW as more industries resumed operations.

In the release, Kengen noted that water levels in Masinga that produce 40mw stood at 1054.17m Above Sea Level (ASL) against a minimum operation of 1035m ASL.

“Masinga Dam in the Eastern Region is our biggest dam with a height of 1,056m Above Sea Level and will be able to run the hydropower plants optimally throughout the year,” reads the release.

Earlier, the company’s Regulatory Affairs Manager Alfred Oseko noted that the peak demand rose from 1,976MW in December 2020 to 1,980MW in March 2021 due to a return to normal economic activities.

In a statement published in the company’s weekly review report, Osako said that power demand in the month of April however dipped due to the lockdown introduced in five red counties.

“Electricity demand in April went down because of the closure of five disease-infected counties of Nakuru, Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado,” he said.

The senior manager noted that with the economy opening up, their projections were that electricity demand would continue to rise in the coming months.

“As we resume normal life and economic activities rise, KenGen is set to dispatch and generate more electricity this year than it did in 2020,” he said.