Electricity consumers in Kenya will not experience power cuts or higher tariffs despite the ongoing drought and reduced water levels in hydropower dams in the East African nation, says Kenya’s Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN).

The decision by the company to diversify its energy mix will reduce its dependence on hydroelectric power dams whose reliability has been hampered by changing weather patterns in the country.

Kenya currently has an installed capacity of 2350 MW and is now looking to increase it to 10000MW by 2030.

Kenya like the rest of the region is suffering from the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Livestock populations in the arid areas have been decimated and at least 2.7 million people are in need of food aid. With water levels in the East African nation’s hydropower dams are dangerously low.

Each day of delayed rains means the plant performs below its capacity. The engineers are monitoring closely – not just the levels but also the downstream in other dams.

Hydroelectric power remains the main source of electricity for East Africa’s biggest economy accounting for 35% of the country’s energy mix down from 80% less than a decade ago.

The country plans to add 720MW to the national grid between this year and 2020 at $2billion.

– By Sarah Kimani