In East Africa, untapped renewable resources in Kenya could reduce electricity costs in the country and drive growth. This is according to a newly released report by the the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) climate change mitigation and adaptation organisation.
According to GIZ, if solar, wind and biomass resources are harnessed correctly, they could have the potential of bringing down the cost of electricity to between $0.07 and $0.12, (Sh7.17 and Sh12.31) per kWh, reports the Star.
This will be a drop from the current charge ranging from $0.12 and $0.22 (Sh12 and Sh22.57) per kWh for hydropower and between $0.25 and $0.30 (Sh25.64 and Sh30.77) per kWh for diesel generated electricity.
Potential of renewable resources
The report added that this could cut production and electricity costs in the country’s industrial sector and hotels by 50%.
According to another report released by a delegation of Germany Industry and Commerce in Kenya, the country has sufficient solar exposure all year round, estimated at 4kWh to 6kWh per square metre per day.
The proven wind energy potential is at a high of 346MW per square metre and speeds of over six to seven metres per second, in parts of Marsabit, Kajiado, Laikipia, Meru, Nyandarua and Kilifi.
The report further states that other areas with high wind energy potential include Lamu, Isiolo, Turkana, Samburu, Uasin Gishu, Narok and Kiambu counties.
Speaking in Nairobi at the Germany-Kenya joint training on renewable energy, GIZ project manager, Jasmin Fraatz noted the abundant renewable resources in Kenya.
Fraatz said: “This is something a country like Germany would dream to have. Kenya is best positioned for renewable energy which still remains untapped.”
Diverse energy mix
The country’s major electricity sources include hydro, thermal and geothermal power.
According to the Energy Regulatory Commission, Kenya’s installed wind capacity stands at 5.1MW.
The country is pushing for renewable energy projects as it seeks to adopt clean energy generation modes.
One of the country’s key projects is the upcoming Lake Turkana Wind Power project, which is expected to feed 310MWs into Kenya’s national electricity grid. This is enough power to electrify over two million households.
Nairobi trade and industrialisation county executive Anna Othoro, said: “Renewable energy is the best way to provide sustainable energy to our people. It is the way to go.”