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Kenya eyes full transition to renewable energy by 2020

Staff Writer |
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government is investing in geothermal, solar, wind and hydro power projects to achieve full transition to renewable energy in the next two years.

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Kenyatta said his government has added 1,063 MW of electricity to the national grid since taking over leadership in 2013.

He said in the last three months, the government added 364 MW to the national grid, which included 310 MW from Lake Turkana wind farm, and 54 MW from Garissa solar plant.

"To be more specific we, as a country, have committed ourselves to attain 100 percent green sufficiency by 2020 and we are on the right path towards realizing that target," he said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 83.3 MW unit 6 of Olkaria 1 Geothermal Power Plant in Naivasha, about 90kms northwest of Nairobi.

He said as a global powerhouse in geothermal power generation, Kenya has stepped up efforts to utilize other forms of renewable energy, particularly wind, solar, small hydro power and bioenergy.

Kenyatta noted when his government came to power, households connected to electricity stood at 2.2 million, adding that this had now risen to 6.9 million households.

"In five short years, we have more than tripled access to electricity, and made it far easier for our children to study without strain. Every public school in the country is currently connected to electricity and plans are underway to make sure that all households have power before I leave office," he said.

The Kenyan leader said that he was waiting for the Ministry of Energy to reduce the cost of energy targeting the SMEs before passing the same benefits to households.

"At the end of the month I will be checking on the electricity bill for the SMEs to see if their electricity bills have dropped as I had directed," Kenyatta said.

He said the government intention is to deepen the use of renewable energy, in particular solar as per the National Electrification Strategy that will be launched later this week.

"We have to use renewable sources of energy to protect our environment, and ensure that we pass down, to our sons and daughters, a country as clean and green as we inherited from our fathers," said Kenyatta.

Charles Keter, energy cabinet secretary said the country is currently at 90 percent of renewable energy and is working towards the realization of full transition to green energy within the set timeline.

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