Thursday, 28 November 2013

Kenya backs away from wind

From Bloomberg we hear Kenya is finding wind power too expensive :-

Kenya suspended issuing new licenses for wind farms and solar plants until 2017 as it prioritizes development of cheaper fuel-based sources to help cut electricity prices, Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir said.

The East African government plans to add at least 5,500 megawatts of power supply in the 40 months from September, more than quadrupling output from current installed capacity of about 1,700 megawatts mainly from rain-fed hydropower plants.

About 80 percent of that additional output will be tapped from facilities powered by coal, liquefied natural gas, and geothermal, Chirchir said in a phone interview on Nov. 25 from Nairobi, the capital. Wind and solar power will contribute a maximum of 15 percent of new supplies and projects already under way have filled that quota. Hydropower and diesel-fired sources will comprise the remainder, he said.

“The planned energy mix is what will give us the tariff and reliability of supply we want,” Chirchir said.

Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir has acted swiftly, at least compared to our lot here in the UK. Back in April when he was appointed to the post, Mr Chirchir said:-

Kenya is a country of great opportunities. We can’t be competitive if the cost of power is what it is today,” Mr Chirchir said Thursday after his nomination. “We shall ensure the power we give to Kenya is cheaper for them to be competitive.”

So - how do we swap Ed Davey for Davis Chirchir when the transfer window comes round? Obviously the UK would have to pay a substantial transfer fee, but how much? One hundred million sounds reasonable to me - cheap even.  


Demetrius said...

In the last sixty years the population of Kenya has multiplied six fold. At the same time the demand for energy has more than matched that. When will it hit it's limits?

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - it depends how effectively they govern themselves.