Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kenya Postpones Renewable Energy Drive to Reduce Power Costs

If the message you take from this story is that Kenya missed the grid parity memo, you probably don't have a population where 4 out of 5 people live without grid power.

Kenya suspended issuing new licenses for wind farms and solar plants until 2017 as it prioritizes development of cheaper fuel-based sources to help cut electricity prices, Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir said.
The East African government plans to add at least 5,500 megawatts of power supply in the 40 months from September, more than quadrupling output from current installed capacity of about 1,700 megawatts mainly from rain-fed hydropower plants.
About 80 percent of that additional output will be tapped from facilities powered by coal, liquefied natural gas, and geothermal... 
“The planned energy mix is what will give us the tariff and reliability of supply we want,” Chirchir said.
Kenya plans to reduce average electricity prices by as much as 23 percent over the next three years, though industrial, mid-sized and large domestic users may initially see tariffs increase by as much as 12 percent. A surge in generation from more economical power sources is key to cutting bills for consumers, Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Director-General Frederick Nyang said on Nov. 19.
The expansion in power capacity is needed to meet demand which is growing at a rate of 14 percent annually, according to the African Development Bank. Most of the four out of five Kenyans without grid power live in remote and rural areas.
The entire article can be read at Bloomberg

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