There are three main sources of energy in Kenya: Wood fuel, petroleum and electricity, accounting for 68 per cent, 21 per cent and nine per cent of energy in Kenya. Renewable energy has also become significant.
Kenya has made great strides in the energy sector in the recent years. Many homes that had no electricity now do.
This has been possible because the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) set a target of 150,000 new connections a year.This figure has since been revised upwards to 200,000.
Schools and crop buying and shopping centres get priority in power connection. As a result, businesses – milling, welding,hair dressing and Internet,among others have been set up in rural areas and small markets where electricity has been connected for the first time. Many jobs have thus been created.
Kenya has for long depended on hydropower for electricity needs. But investment has also gone into alternative sources of energy, especially geothermal and wind.
ln the oil sub-sector, the Kenya Government has invested in the refinery at Mombasa and extended the pipeline to western Kenya. It will eventually reach Kampala. Oil exploration has not yielded much although there is hope for gas deposits in some parts of lsiolo. Oil exploration continues.
Kenya Vision 2030 recognises electricity as a development enabler. The provision of inexpensive and reliable supply of electricity is the lifeblood of any modern economy. Renewable sources of energy hold the key to transforming Kenya and stand to give rural areas a new lease of life.
The Government of Kenya is to develop 500 MW in the next four years through Public—Private Partnerships. lt will also encourage the development of biomass power from municipality waste and hope that the initiative will raise additional power to 800 MW by 2014.
About 15 per cent of the population has access to electricity. The KPLC targets to raise to 20 per cent the rural population with access to electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2025. Access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is 7.8 per cent of the population. Although this is expected to rise, use of LPG for cooking will depend more on incomes than on interventions.
Implementation of the provisions relevant to household energy will lead to significant environmental gains, including curbs on climate change, lower ozone toxicity and less respiratory infections. lt will also potentially lead to significant conservation of land, wood fuel and income.
Domestic wood fuel consumption will increase by 38 per cent from 11.06 million tonnes in 2005 to 15.25 million tonnes in 2020. The need to provide adequate and affordable energy is one of the pillars of the Governmcnt’s economic strategy.
The energy policy was formulated with the realisation that development objectives should increase economic growth, raise productivity, ensure equitable distribution of the national income, ease poverty, improve agricultural production and industrialisation, accelerate employment creation and improve the rural – urban balance.
To realise the objectives, the Government has come up with strategies to provide quality, cost – effectivc and affordable energy services to households, manufacturing mining and agriculture.
The objectives in the Kenya energy sector are to:
- Expand and upgrade infrastructure
- Promote energy efficiency and conservation
- Mobilise Hnancial resources for expansion of services to meet demand
- Diversify sources of supply in a cost—ellective manner
- Increase energy access to all