Power costs to rise, says energy CS Davis Chirchir
Due to low water levels at the nation’s largest electricity producing reservoir, Masinga Dam, Kenyans may anticipate somewhat higher electricity rates.
The persistent drought has been blamed for the low water levels.
Masinga is essential in controlling the water flow to the other four hydroelectric power units downstream due to its size.
After touring the Masinga and Kamburu Dams on Friday, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir told reporters that if the drought persisted, the government may start using pricey diesel to provide electricity.
As you are all aware, for the past five years, we have experienced major rain failure, which has resulted in low water levels.
He said that hydro provides about 800 MW, including those from the Turkwel and Sondu Miriu dams, with Masinga generating 40 MW.
However, he claimed that despite limitations in the transmission cables between Kitale-Ortum and Turkwel, the water level there is slightly higher.
Chirchir urged the Kindaruma, Gitaru, and Kamburu dam operators, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), to explore solar energy.
According to him, the government will shortly put into service the Ethiopian power link in the east, which is already receiving 200 MW from Ethiopia.
The CS voiced concern that shutting down the Masinga plant would be the only choice if the low water levels persisted until March.
“We may not have a choice but to stop the machines in accordance with our standard operating procedures and best practices in hydropower plant operation and maintenance,” he said. “In the likely event that we get close to the levels of 1,036 meters above sea level at the Masinga Dam, we may have no choice but to do so.”
The only issue is that because we are turning up the diesel more than we normally should be, power may be a little more expensive. Kenya, according to Chirchir, is fairly
variety, as opposed to Zambia and Uganda, which are nearly entirely hydroelectric-dependent.