Energy Sector

Electricity generation

Kenya’s economic growth has put the country’s electricity supply under increasing pressure. Between 2004 and 2013 power demand rose by 18.9% annually. The Kenyan authorities intend to close the current supply gap of 80 MW (25 GWh) by 2015. Under the Least Cost Power Development Plan, the country is focusing on the development of geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. After a 280 MW geothermal plant was commissioned in early 2015, electricity tariffs were decreased by up to 30% depending on the customer group. At the same time, the low rural electrification rate of 6.7% requires grid extension and electrification projects in remote areas of the country. Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority is concentrating mainly on the expansion of greenfield photovoltaic (PV) mini-grids and on retrofitting existing diesel-powered mini-grids.

The Kenya Vision 2030 is aimed at enabling the country to achieve middle-income status by 2030. Implemented in 2007, the strategy foresees annual GDP growth of 10%, which will trigger a significant rise in electricity demand. The increase is projected to reach between 11.9% and 15.3% per annum by 2030. Peak demand is expected to hit 15,000 MW at that time. The first step towards increased electricity production is scheduled for completion by 2016: the 2013 “5000 MW plan” sets an objective of expanding electricity generation by 5,000 MW. To meet future demand, the country needs to gradually extend its generating capacity to 19,200 MW by 2030. In this scenario, renewable energy will play an even more important role in the country’s electricity mix.

 

Share of resources in electricity generation as of Sept 2014

Diagram-Kenya

 

 

Tariff

Charges (excl. VAT and surcharges) effective from 1 July 2015, KES (may be subject to change)
Fixed charge Energy charge (per kWh) Demand charge (per kVA)
DC (Domestic, 240 V) 150 Up to 50kWh: 2.50

50-1,500 kWh: 12.75

Over 1,500 kWh: 20.57

n/a
SC (Small Commercial, 240 V) 150 13.5 n/a
CI1 (Commercial, 415 V) 2,500 9.2 800
CI2 (Commercial, 11 kV) 4,500 8.0 520
CI3 (Commercial, 33 kV) 5,500 7.5 270
CI4 (Commercial, 66 kV) 6,500 7.3 220
CI5 (Commercial, 132 kV) 17,000 7.1 220
IT (Domestic water heating) 150 13.5 n/a

Source: Regulus

 

Transmission and distribution network

The national grid is operated as an integrated network linked by a 220 kV and a 132 kV transmission system; there are also a limited number of 66 kV transmission lines. The grid is one of the main challenges for the sector, and deficiencies lead to frequent power outages as well as technical and non-technical losses. As a result, the grid operators, KPLC and Ketraco, have put the emphasis on system reliability and the introduction of smart grid technologies. The authorities are currently extending transmission lines (4,000 km) and distribution lines (3,200 km), and building substations (4,200 MVA). Two pilot projects are aimed at introducing smart grid technologies in parts of Nairobi and Mombasa.