Kenya now a major exporter of electricity to Uganda

Kenya is becoming a major exporter of electricity to neighbouring Uganda.
This is despite the fact that East Africa's leading economy imports power from its neighbours namely Uganda and Tanzania to boost its rising power demands. Of the two countries, Uganda is the leading supplier of electricity to Kenya.


   Latest data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate that the country exports an average of 2.98 million kilowatts per hour (KWh) every month to Uganda.
   The power exports to Uganda have been on the rise since last year as Kenya on the other hand steps up electricity imports from the same nation.
   As at the end of April, Kenya had exported to Uganda over 12 million KWh. This, however, is a drop of about 4 million KWh of power during a similar period last year, where Kenya exported 16 million KWh, said the KNBS Leading Economic Indicators analysis released on June 3.
   In January, Kenya's power exports to Uganda stood at 2.45 million KWh, from 2.32 million KWh in December 2012.
   Electricity exports rose to 2.95 million KWh in February before increasing further to 3.68 million KWh in March, the highest since the beginning of the year. In April, the exports slowed down to 2. 84 million KWh.
   Compared to a similar period last year, Kenya has not performed well during this period. In January 2012, exports to Uganda stood at 5.7 million KWh, in February 3.7 million KWh, in March 4.4 million KWh and in April 2.1 million KWh.
   However, as Kenya's power exports to Uganda rise, the country does not export much electricity to Tanzania. The data indicated that since the beginning of the year, Kenya has not exported any power to Tanzania.
   The last export to the country was made in December last year, where Kenya exported 0.12 million KWh of power.
   The only other months the East African nation exported power to Tanzania was in January, February, March, April and June where they totalled 0.10 million KWh each month.
   As Kenya intensifies its power exports, imports from its two neighbours in the East African Community are also on the increase.
   Since the start of the year, Uganda has exported to Kenya over 14.1 million KWh of power. The largest export was made in March, where Kenya imported 3.36 million KWh.
   Interestingly, this is the month where Kenya also made the highest power exports to Uganda, which stood at 3.68 million KWh.
   In January, Kenya imported 3.47 million KWh of power from Uganda. In February, the import stood at 3.13 million KWh and in April 3.75 million KWh.
   Kenya does not import a lot of electricity from Tanzania. In the past four months, electricity imports from the country stand at 0.4 million KWh.
   Imports from both countries have been on the rise, averaging about 3.5 million KWh. The rise in electricity imports from the two East African nations reflect increased demand for power in Kenya.
   Kenya consumes an average of 540 million KWh of electricity each month, according to KNBS. Demand has been on the rise in the past years as the country intensifies its rural electrification programme and more industries come up.
   On the other hand, the East African nation generates an average of 630 million KWh of power every month.
   "Total electricity generation decreased from 672.7 million KWh in March to 655.4 million KWh in April. Domestic consumption of electricity went up from 495.5 million KWh in March to 516.5 million KWh in April," noted KNBS in the analysis.
   The bulk of Kenya's electricity is generated from hydro sources, followed by thermal and geo-thermal. In April, Kenya generated 368 million KWh from hydro sources, 151 million KWh from geo-thermal and 139 million KWH from thermal sources.
   According to Economic Survey 2013, Kenya's installed electricity capacity expanded by 4.7 per cent from 1,534.3 MW in 2011 to 1,606.1 MW last year.
   Consequently, total electricity generation increased by 3.9 per cent to 7,851.2 GWh in 2012 compared to 7,559.9 GWh in 2011.
   The growth was mainly driven by a 21.6 per cent increase in hydro-generation, which accounted 50.7 per cent of total electricity generation.
   As at September last year, Kenya had 2.11 million consumers of electricity connected to the national grid. (Xinhua)

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