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Kenya power generation peaks as consumption rises

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s electricity generation has hit a high of 895 million kilowatts per hour (KWh) a month as consumption increases.

The electricity generation has been boosted by increased production from geothermal as the country also taps wind power and intensifies imports from Uganda and Ethiopia.

Production of electricity from hydro has been hit by erratic rains in the last two years, which have seen water in major dams decline significantly, with the government mulling closure.

The latest data from Kenya Power, the East African nation’s power distributor, show Friday that electricity generation peaked at 894.3 million KWh as at the end of December 2017, the highest ever.

Kenya’s power production during the year had stood at between 840 million KWh and 890 million KWh a month, before peaking to the new level.

Geothermal contributes more than half of the generation, averaging 430 million KWh a month, followed by hydro now at 250 million KWh from a high of 350 million KWh, according to Kenya Power.

Thermal power stands at 200 million KWh a month, an increase from 150 million KWh, while wind power has risen to 7 million KWh, from 3.5 million KWh.

Kenya imports electricity from Uganda and Ethiopia, having dropped Tanzania from its supply list. From Uganda, the country imports 14 million KWh a month while Ethiopia offers a paltry 0.23 million KWh.

From all the sources, the country generated a total of 10.4 billion KWh of electricity in 2017, an increase from 10 billion KWh in 2016.

Consumption, similarly, increased last year as the country raised production to power industries, offices and homes to boost its economy.

According to Kenya Power, consumption by its about 5 million customers stood at 700 million KWh across the 12 months or 8.4 billion KWh annually. In 2016, Kenya consumed 7.8 billion KWh.

“The fact that the country produces more power than it consumes is an indication that Kenya is power sufficient. Consumption has grown in the last years as government targets schools and hospitals in rural areas, but it may not be as fast as production. A good situation, however, is when we produce more than we consume,” said Henry Wandera, an economics lecturer.



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