Kenya to light up 40pc of households by 2020
Posted Friday, August 10 2012 at 12:37
Kenya has set a target of 40 per cent household access to electricity by 2020 with an eye to reducing the discrepancy between urban and rural areas.
Kenya's electricity distributor Kenya Power said it has consistently recorded increasing demand for power occasioned by growth in many sectors of the economy with higher prospects in the coming years.
Speaking to journalist in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kenya Power managing director Joseph Njoroge said "In June this year, we connected 2 million customers who were among 307,001 customers connected to the national grid during 2011/2012 financial year."
Mr Njoroge said the company added more than 200,000 customers to the grid every year since 2008.
He said Kenya Power aims at further accelerating access to quality electricity to more than 50 per cent of Kenyans in line with the country's Vision 2030; and in recognition that electricity is a key enabler of the country's development.
"We aim to sustain the connection of over 300,000 customers in the subsequent years to power this dream."
Kenya Power on Wednesday received a Ksh4.2 billion ($50 million) loan from the World Bank's private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help expand its network and increase reliability of electricity supply.
Kenya Power's expansion responds to greater demand for electricity as the East African nation's economy eyes middle-income status.
During the past three years, the company has been injecting capital to continue extending the power grid as it accelerates its connectivity rate.
Mr Njoroge said the Kenya Power which will use the $50 million loan to implement 42 power projects in Nairobi and its environs.
"To customers the project will mean improved quality and reliability of supply owing to reduced transient faults and system disturbances occasioned by third party activities and environmental occurrences," Mr Njoroge said, adding that "Power projects are by nature capital intensive, and the IFC loan therefore brings in much needed financial support in efforts to extend the national grid, improve quality of power supply and stabilise voltages to cope with additional demand."
Mr Njoroge said the expansion will also bear fruit for Kenya's climate change agenda.
Alongside the investment, IFC's resource efficiency team will provide advisory services to Kenya Power on how to reduce power losses.
"Even a 1 per cent drop in power loss leads to massive energy savings, cutting Kenya's greenhouse gas emissions by 55,000 tons per year," he said.
IFC and Kenya Power are working together to develop measures that will enable the company to save energy through more efficient energy use.