How country can plug its electricity gap

Nationwide blackout

Nairobi and other parts of the country plunged into darkness on Saturday evening. Kenya Power says it is doing everything possible to restore normalcy within the shortest time possible.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Saturday’s countrywide power blackout should jot Kenyans to the realisation that, without energy, there would be no electricity to support the nation’s socioeconomic and political growth.

 Energy is one of the key resources that has catapulted the country in terms of industrialisation, a crucial resource that holds high its economic bar. But to make energy a real enabler of growth, there needs to be enough of it and it must be reliable and affordable.

 Kenya faces the challenge of constant unavailability and unaffordability of energy. The insufficient supply of electric energy for industrial and domestic needs is prompted by several challenges.

These include the high cost of building new energy infrastructure as well as the inability to distribute electricity from the point of generation to the rural areas.

There are several ways in which the government can initiate steps to help the country to meet its energy needs. For instance, it can offer support for the expansion of solar, wind and geothermal power generation.

It should be more vigorous in making investments in the renewable energy sector by aligning them with support from the international communities.

Also aggressively expand the energy transmission network, which is occasionally plagued by flaws dating back decades.

For a sunny and geothermal-endowed nation like Kenya, nuclear and coal power could be bad options as electric energy sources. Instead of committing resources to nuclear and fossil fuel studies and installation, the government can empower local engineers to explore new technologies in power generation.

There is no doubt that access to sufficient and reliable energy by households and businesses is the bedrock of any developing economy.

The government must pursue modern sources of energy, such as solar, and courageously part ways with old technology and think creatively and innovatively.

Kadzo Grace, Kilifi

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With the recent scenarios of nationwide power outrage which has seen many Kenyans plunged into darkness, it can only mean that Kenya Power, a company that enjoys a monopoly in electricity distribution for a long time, is sleeping on the job.

For a long time, the utility’s customers, who are the electricity consumers, have complained about extraordinarily high bills, mostly involving the purchase of power tokens. It would only be fair if they ensured that such scenarios don’t occur.

Such outrages do frustrate many Kenyans who use the power in almost all their household activities and at the workplace.

KPLC should serve their customers in the most appropriate way possible and not to put them in such dire situations.

Dan Lawrence, Kisumu


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