Heavy Rains in April Led To an Increase Of 23 Percent in Hydropower Production

Posted on :Friday , 31st May 2024

The country experienced heavy rains in April, which led to a 23.2% rise in the generation of hydropower one of the most affordable forms of electricity. The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) reported that 358 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) were produced by the 13 largest hydropower units in the month.


This was the biggest output in over three years since a peak of 369.02 million units in May 2021, and a notable increase from 290.48 million units the previous month. In a gazette announcement, Epra director-general Daniel Kiptoo stated, "Total units purchased from hydropower plants with a capacity equal to or above one megawatt equalled 358,027,261 kWh." Together with geothermal, wind, solar, and thermal energy, hydropower is one of Kenya's energy sources. As hydropower is the least expensive source of energy, adding more hydropower to the national grid will result in cheaper rates.


The top power provider, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), reported that at the start of the month, water flow reached 850 meters per second.  


Masinga, the largest dam in Kenya that generates electricity, reached a record-breaking height of 1,058.22 meters above sea level because to the massive amount of water. In the future, KenGen plans to raise Masinga Dam by 1 meter with the support of the government.


According to the company, the dam will be able to hold more water and delay overflowing during heavy rains for up to 5 metres. With the cheaper hydropower, coupled with recent strengthening of the Kenya shilling against the US dollar, consumers have seen power costs drop.


In this month's power pricing review, for example, the Epra lowered power costs by 73 cents per unit, which is the fourth consecutive month that electricity prices have decreased. Which results to, a typical household user will pay approximately Sh1, 277 this month for 50 units of electricity, a slight decrease from Sh1,311 last month.


Additionally, if a customer uses 100 units, they will pay Sh2, 554 instead of Sh2, 623 in April, while if they use 200 units, they will pay Sh5, 109 instead of Sh5, 245 in April.


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