President Kenyatta calls for investment in green energy

President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils a plaque to officially commission 75 Wellhead Units at Ol Karia in Naivasha on April 28, 2017. He called for more investments in the energy sector. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • He termed geothermal energy as 90 per cent efficient and was not affected by the weather vagaries unlike hydropower.
  • Government data shows the national geothermal capacity is 677MW.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Energy to allow private firms to invest in the geothermal sector.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony for 158MW Olkaria V, Geothermal Power Plant at Ol Karia in Naivasha today, he cited Turkana Wind Park Power Project where such a venture was a success

He hailed public-private partnership programmes, saying they will yield positive results, which will in turn see the lowering of the cost of power.

“I encourage the ministry to woo investors in the private sector to start investing in the green energy,” the Head of State said.

He termed geothermal energy as 90 per cent efficient and was not affected by the weather vagaries unlike hydropower.

“Electricity is changing lives and my government is committed towards giving Kenyans cheap power,” he added.

He assured the government commitment of ensuring a steady supply of green energy in line with vision 2030.

President Kenyatta said the construction of the 158MW Ol karia V Geothermal Power Plant was in line with providing Kenyans with more energy.

“The project is part of the company’s green energy agenda, which is aimed at ensuring a steady supply of energy at affordable cost in line with the country’s economic blue-print.”

Earlier, President Kenyatta commissioned 75MW of Wellhead Units, hailing the innovative programme.

The wellheads technology entails the use of small power units, which are fitted next to the wells and ensures generation can take place within as little as nine months from the time the well is tested.

The technology, according to the experts, helps partly in the utilisation of the investment put in drilling the wells, which would otherwise be lying idle.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said hydro-power in the country was “performing poorly” as a result of continued dry spell, citing Masinga and Turkwel, among other dams.


He, however, hailed geothermal power, saying the additional 158MW will ensure the country is ranked six in the world in geothermal production.

Olkaria V has been funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency to the tune of Sh40 billion and will involve the construction of two geothermal power units of 79MW each.

Government data shows the national geothermal capacity is 677MW, including 143MW private capacity, which puts Kenya as the seventh largest global producer of geothermal energy.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) company continues to maintain its lead in the market, generating up to 70 per cent of electricity consumed in the country.