NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to increase investment in geothermal
power in order to meet rising demand for electricity, officials
said on Friday.
Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary at
the Ministry of Energy, told a briefing in Nairobi that plans
are under way to deliver Olkaria V geothermal project, which
will add 164.5 megawatt (MW) to the national grid.
"The first unit of 82 MW is scheduled for commissioning in
April 2019, while the second one is set for commissioning in
Also in the pipeline is Olkaria 1 Unit 6 (83MW) geothermal
project, which has commenced," Njoroge said as state-owned Kenya
Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) released results for the
financial year ending June 30.
Njoroge noted that under the country’s updated Least Cost
Power Development Plan (2017-2037), there is project pipeline
for a total of 476 MW of power to be connected to the national
grid in the next five years by tapping from wind, solar and
Government data indicates that Kenya has an installed
capacity of 2,359 MW, comprising 35 percent hydropower, while
geothermal and thermal power contributes 29 percent and 34
Njoroge said Kenya’s electricity demand has been growing by
an average of 6 percent a year since 2012.
In addition, the government’s objective of expanding the
contribution of the manufacturing sector from the current 10
percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 15 percent by the
year 2022 will increase need for more electricity supply.
KenGen controls 69 percent of the electricity market in
Kenya, with the remainder being contributed by independent power
Rebecca Miano, CEO of KenGen, said that 89 percent of its
electricity output is from renewable sources, mostly geothermal
For the 2018 financial year that ended in June 30, KenGen
posted a 2 percent increase in pre-tax profit of 117.5 million
U.S. dollars, up from 114.6 million dollars last year, while
profit after tax declined to 78.91 million dollars, compared to
90 million dollars in 2017.
Miano said that revenue generated from KenGen’s geothermal
power plants increased from 161 million dollars in 2017 to 171
million dollars in 2018, a growth of 6 percent.
"The growth in geothermal power is in line with KenGen’s
strategy which focuses on increasing geothermal energy to meet
the country’s growing electricity demand and unlock the
company’s investment in steam wells," Miano said.
She noted that total energy generation dispatch increased by
6 percent from 7,556 GWh in 2017 to 7,989 GWh for the year ended
"The increase was recorded despite a persistent drought which
affected water levels within the company’s reservoirs in the
first six months of the year," said Miano.
She attributed the good performance to diversification of the
energy sources, through which geothermal generation was able to
cater for a deficit in hydro generation.
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