Kenya fast-tracks energy reforms to make electricity cheaper
Kenya is accelerating reforms in the energy sector to lower the cost of power and invest more in renewable energy in a bid to spur economic development, a government official said on Friday.
Monica Juma, the cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Energy, said at a press conference in the capital Nairobi that the reforms that have so far seen Kenyans pay less for power are sector-wide and would also help achieve transparency in the industry.
“So far many Kenyans can attest to a significant drop in their electricity bills. Key emphasis here is that while we targeted a 15 percent reduction in power costs, the low tier customers are enjoying a reduction of up to 23 percent,” she said, adding that the reduction would translate to up to 10 percent reduction in manufacturing costs.
Juma observed that the government is in talks with independent power producers (IPP), to further lower the cost of power.
“We are in the final preparatory stages for the official engagement with each of the IPP. So far, as is demonstrable, the government has taken critical actions toward the objective of reduction of power costs,” said Juma.
The number of households connected to the national grid in the country hit about 8.6 million in 2021, up from 1.6 million in 2013.
Kenya aims to cut power costs by up to 30 percent by the end of 2022, which will enable consumer costs to drop from an average of 24 shillings (about 0.21 U.S. dollars) per kilowatt-hour to about 16.8 shillings.
Kenya has been at the forefront of renewable energy production, as about 92 percent of electricity is generated from clean sources. However, the cost of power had remained unaffordable to many businesses and households.