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Geothermal drives Kenya power sector boost

Monday, March 2, 2015

Subject

Kenya power outlook.

Significance

The government's geothermal generation programme is driving a structural change in the power sector. Plans are for electricity generation to roughly double to 3,000 megawatts (MW) over the next few years, with hydroelectricity losing its dominant role. Kenya's medium-term economic growth prospects turn on the success of the government's rising spending on infrastructure investment in the energy and transport sectors.

Impacts

  • Focus on industry sources (diesal, gas, coal) obscures the dominant role of bio-energy (firewood, charcoal) in the energy mix.
  • Increasing the role for natural gas in domestic power sectors will be pushed by regional governments with new offshore finds.
  • Policymakers will continue to advocate the efficacy of mini grid or off-grid systems to augment the limited reach of 'national' grids.
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