Following the expiry of the Economic Recovery Strategy (2003-2007), Kenya’s Development Agenda is now anchored on the Kenya Vision 2030, which aims at creating “a globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life by 2030”. It aims to transform Kenya into “a newly –industrialized, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment”. Simultaneously, the Vision aspires to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Kenyans by 2015.
The Vision is anchored on three key pillars: economic, social and political. The economic pillar aims to achieve an average economic growth rate of 10 per cent per annum by 2012 and sustaining the same till 2030 in order to generate more resources to meet the MDGs and Vision 2030 goals. The social pillar seeks to achieve a just, cohesive and equitable social development in a clean and secure environment, while the political pillar aims for a democratic, issue-based, people-centred, result-oriented and accountable system.
Role of the Ministry of Energy in contributing towards Vision 2030
The Kenya Vision 2030 has identified Energy as a key foundation and one of the infrastructural “enablers” upon which the economic, social and political pillars of this long-term development strategy will be built.
The successful implementation of the Flagship projects highlighted in the Vision will greatly depend on supply of adequate, reliable, clean and affordable Energy. In particular, the demand for electricity will increase since it is a prime mover of the commercial sector of the economy. The level and intensity of commercial energy use in the country is a key indicator of the degree of economic growth and development.
The Energy sector is therefore expected to remain a key player in tackling such challenges as reduction of poverty by half by the year 2015 as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and overall improvement in the general welfare of the population.
The Ministry of Energy will play a facilitative role in Energy supply by creating an enabling environment for private sector-led growth through policy formulation and development of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework and oversight responsibility.
Guided by its Vision of “Affordable quality Energy for all Kenyans” and while realizing its Mission “ to facilitate provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, reliable and secure energy services at least cost while protecting the environment”, the Ministry will play its contributory role towards achievement of Kenya Vision 2030 by;(i)Enhancing power generation capacity;(ii)Increasing access to Electricity;(iii)Development of new and renewable sources of Energy;(iv)Ensuring security of fossil fuel resources; and(v)Capacity building of the Energy sector.
Role of Kenya Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. in contributing towards Vision 2030
The Kenya Vision 2030 has identified challenges that need to be addressed in the Energy Sector and outlined the National Flagship Projects and key support initiatives that need to be undertaken to address the challenges.
KETRACO will contribute to the national infrastructural and energy sector support initiatives through the development of a new and robust national grid system in order to;(i)Improve quality and reliability of electricity supply throughout the country;(ii)Provide electricity to areas that are currently not supplied from the national grid;(iii)Provide a link with the neighbouring countries in order to facilitate power exchange and develop electricity trade in the region;(iv)Reduce transmission losses that currently cost the country about US$17 million per year; and (v)Reduce the cost of electricity to the consumer by absorbing the capital cost of transmission lines since they will be fully funded by the government of Kenya.
In line with its mandate, the company has identified for implementation on priority basis,a total of 1,471km of 132KV lines, 645km of 220KV lines, 608km of 400KV lines and 686km of 500KV HVDC lines to be implemented over the next 3-4 years.
The company has, under the Energy Sector Recovery Project (ESRP), a major component in “Distribution reinforcement and upgrade” to be implemented over a period of 4 years which targets to facilitate electricity access to one million households over the next five years at an estimated cost of KShs.84 billion. The project will target major trading centres, secondary and primary schools, community water supply works and health centres.
The 132KV and above transmission lines planned for implementation will reinforce and upgrade the infrastructure. The reinforcement and upgrade is aimed at improving the quality and reliability of supply, reducing system losses and increasing access to electricity service especially in urban and peri-urban areas. The company will also undertake the implementation of the 330KV transmission line between Arusha and Nairobi which is being undertaken jointly by the Kenyan and Tanzanian governments, with the funding already obtained.
The company will develop links between power generators and the distributor (KPLC) to produce renewable energies that can continuously be harvested because they are cleaner and inexhaustible in supply, and are therefore an essential component of facilitating access to affordable energy. This will relate to the Olkaria IV appraisal drilling of six wells, in which about 70MW of electricity of renewable energy will be generated, as well as the 150MW of wind power that will be generated from wind.
The above initiatives by KETRACO will be incorporated in the National Electricity Supply Master Plan which will identify new generation and supply to ensure that dependable national electricity supply is tripled in the next 10 years from the current 1,050MW to 3,000MW by the year 2018. This will play a key role in meeting the power needs of an expanding economy and the Vision 2030 Flagship projects. The National Electricity Master Plan will identify the power projects to be initiated in the first Medium-Term Plan (2008-2012) to ensure adequate supply of energy to meet the increase in demand. The company will particularly identify more transmission line projects that will serve the projected power supply equitably and in a holistic manner. Since electricity access is fundamental for development and achieving the Vision 2030, KETRACO’s contribution to the development of the Master Plan will be critical.