Electricity demand hits new record high driven by green energy in the wake of post-COVID-19 recovery
The demand for electricity in Kenya hit a new record this week rising to a peak of 2,036MW, the highest ever recorded in history, marking a significant resurgence in demand since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
At the same time, the country recorded a new energy gross demand peak of 36,381MWh mostly drawn from renewable energy sources as the economy responds positively to the lifting of some of the COVID-19 related restrictions.
National energy generator, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), contributed to the largest jump in renewable energy share with the company scaling up production in its geothermal, hydro and wind power stations to meet the growing demand.
According to a report by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the total amount of electricity generated by KenGen through its hydro power stations exceeded the period’s projections by 581MWh, denoting a 5.56% increase. KenGen’s total installed hydro capacity currently stands at 826 MW.
KenGen’s Gitaru, Kindaruma, Kamburu, and Kiambere Power Stations were among the hydro power stations that surpassed the projected power generation output. The stations are part of the Seven Forks cascade which forms a crucial component of KenGen’s power generation infrastructure and about 29% of Kenya’s total installed capacity
Commenting on the report, KenGen Managing Director and CEO, Rebecca Miano said the NSE-listed firm was committed to delivering on its energy generation mandate to meet the country’s growing demand for electricity through renewable energy sources.
“KenGen is committed to ensuring steady and reliable supply of competitively priced energy to support Kenya’s economy. The company is doing this by accelerating deployment of renewable energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, wind and solar.” said Miano.
The KenGen CEO has reiterated the company’s commitment to support the Government of Kenya’s ambition to achieve 100% utilization of renewable energy by the year 2030 as a way of fighting climate change.
“Our future project pipeline is mostly green which includes geothermal, wind, hydro, and solar. The projects will be implemented in phases with the first, 83MW Olkaria I unit 6 expected to be commissioned by end of this year,” she said.
Early this year, KenGen joined United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Business Ambition for 1.5°C Campaign, saying it is banking its future on green, affordable and accessible energy, including geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar.