The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is planning to add 721 megawatts of renewable energy to the national grid by 2020, it says in its latest financials.
Under this plan, the power generator is expected to increase its geothermal generation capacity to 1164 megawatts from the current 534 megawatts and increase wind power from 26 megawatts to 116 megawatts. It has no plans to increase hydro and thermal power generation, which is at 818 and 254 megawatts respectively.
This will see the firm increase its general energy production capacity from the current 1631 megawatts to 2352 megawatts by 2022.
“We have revamped our 2007 G2G transformation strategy to respond to changing market dynamics and increase our agility in responding to opportunities for growth. We want to deliver 721 megawatts of renewable energy in the next three years, making available affordable and competitive power from renewable sources,’’ said KenGen managing director Rebecca Miano.
She added that the company would increase its earnings and deal with weather challenges faced by hydro power generation during droughts that saw its revenues for the year that ended June 30, 2017 drop by one per cent to Sh29.3 billion from Sh29.5 billion the previous year. Already, KenGen is undertaking several renewable energy projects, including OlkariaV’s 158 megawatts whose ground-breaking was officiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 28 and is expected to be completed by 2019.
The Sh55 billion project, which was to be completed next year, was put on hold for a year due to procurement and financing delays.
Other projects at different stages of procurement are Olkaria I Unit 6 ( 70MW), Ngong Wind Phase III ( 10 MW), Olkaria VI PPP ( 140MW), Olkaria I rehabilitation ( 50MW), Olkaria I AU & IV topping plant ( 40MW), modular wellheads ( 50MW) and Meru Wind Farm ( 80MW), among others.
According to the firm’s 2016/2017 financial statements, it has secured a capital expenditure funding of close to Sh117 billion to facilitate maintenance and production of geothermal and wind energy up to 2022.
Japan International Cooperation Agency is the lead funder with Sh56.6 billion, followed by European lenders at Sh28.7 billion. The remaining Sh31.7 billion is from local and continental lenders.
Kenya is ranked the eighth largest producer of geothermal energy in the world and is expected to increase its geothermal energy production capacity to 5,530 megawatts by 2030.
The country has projected to increase its installed energy capacity from the current 2,177 megawatts to 6,766 megawatts by 2020. It also aims to cut electricity bills, tackling problems regularly blamed for holding back Kenyan business.