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East Africa Power Industry Convention - PS Nyoike's perspective.

Posted Sep 1, 2010 | 0 | Filed under:

Permanent Secretary Nyoike in his opening remarks at the (EAPIC) enumarated five primary challenges that the Power Industry in East Africa faces:

 

  • Limited financing to develop power resources available in the region including hydro, geothermal, natural gas, coal and methane resources.
  • Limited interconnectivity amongst the East African countries.
  • Limited generation capacity resulting in under-served consumers and constraints on connecting new consumers.
  • Limited distribution infrastructure particularly amongst rural households and institutions.
He discussed the country's initiatives to address these challenges:
  • Encouragement and support of private sector engagement in the power sector. IPPs are encouraged to sign PPAs with KPLC. In addition, the govt. has developed FiTs for renewable energy generation including wind, solar, biogas, mini hydro and biomass.
  • At the moment, there exists a 132kva interconnection line between Kenya and Uganda that was built in 1955. The government is expanding that to a 220kva. Additionally, there are feasibility studies being carried out on interconnecting Kenya with Tanzania and Ethiopia. 
  • The government is committed to adding 2000MWs to the grid including hydro, wind, geothermal and coal. The government hopes to achieve this through partnerships with private sector. The frame work now exists for Private Public Partnerships (PPP) to accelerate this.
  • The Kenya government has set up the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KENTRACO). This will help accelerate the development of high capacity transmission lines in the country while also facilitate the interconnectivity with other countries in East Africa.
While discussions have been on going on the connectivity between East Africa and Southern African countries, so far, there has been little progress despite the large amount of resources and time invested. Kenya is therefore considering a 120km 220kva line between Kenya and Tanzania as a first step in what would eventually lead to interconnection with Zambia.
A lot of work is going into ensuring that more households in Kenya have access to electricity. According to PS Nyoike, KPLC has in the last two financial years, connected 200,000 new households annually. It is also on track to connect 220,000 households in the 2010 - 2011 financial year. He is optimistic that by 2020, 60% of Kenya's population will be connected to the grid ahead of the 40% target that was set back in 2006. While the government should be applauded for this ambitious plan, a lot still remains to be done for the other 40% who have no hope of access to electricity by 2020. 

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