Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kenya: Increased Geothermal Energy Production Drives Down Electricity Bills

Power tariffs fall in Kenya as geothermal production peaks (News Ghana)

Electricity tariffs in Kenya are on a downward path as the East African nation steps up geothermal production.

Production of the cheaper source of electricity peaked at 415 million kilowatts per hour (KWh) in August, the highest ever, latest economic data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed Thursday.

The surge happened as the country stepped down production from thermal sources which had risen in the last months due to erratic rainfall.

Geothermal power production has been on the rise since June, according to the KNBS of data. While Kenya produced 415 million KWh in August, this was a  sustained rise from 401 million KWh in July and 376 million KWh in June.

The East African nation injected 280 megawatts of geothermal energy to the national grid, pushing up total installed capacity from from all sources from 1,765 MW in June 2013 to 2,327 MW as at December 2016.

The result is that the region’s biggest economy has not experienced any blackouts or power shortages for over a year since thermal power production was increased.

Geothermal power production contributes about 50 percent of power in the energy mix, while hydro currently stands at 39 percent from a low of 21 percent while thermal has declined to 15 from 32 percent in first six months of the year. Wind power, on the other hand, contributes a paltry 0.4 percent, according to the Energy ministry.