Kenya’s Ministry of Energy says that the average time customers are shut out of power supply per month has reduced from four hours per month in 2016 to one hour, 40 minutes in 2020.
Response time to outages has also improved, the data says. Over the same period, the number of hours, on average, that customers are cut off supply to fix power lines has dropped from seven to four.
These numbers concern the segment of the population that are connected to publicly generated electricity.
Kenya has a population of 48 Million people, according to 2019 data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. A 2019 International Energy Agency (IEA) report says that 75% of Kenyans have access to electricity. It also says that over 95% of urban dwelling Kenyans have access, but 66% of rural Kenyans have access.
Kenya’s current effective installed (grid connected) electricity capacity is 2,651 MW, with peak demand of 1,912 MW, as of November 2019. At that time, demand was rising at a calculated rate of 3.6% annually, given that peak demand was 1,770 MW, at the beginning of 2018.
It’s curious how 75% of 48 Million people, which is 36Million, could find less than 2,000MW of electricity generation adequate.
But just five years ago, only 41% of the Kenyan population had access to electricity, according to the IEA report.
Charles Keter, Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary, says the country has invested in measures to reduce power outages and is looking to have a utility that assures its customers of reliable power in the next few years.
The Energy ministry claims that Kenya Power has invested some $645Million improving its distribution infrastructure by constructing new substations and undergrounding of power lines to reduce interferences that cause outages.