Climate change affects Kenya’s hydro-power production

Hydro-power’s share of total electricity output has dropped from 70 percent in the 1980s to below 50 percent in Kenya as experts blame this on climate change.

Director-General Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Engineer Joe Ng’anga said on Sunday that the effects of global warming were real.

Ng’anga said that hydro-power heavily relied on rainfall whose pattern was no longer periodic thus adversely affecting the supply of electricity.

“A couple of years back, the country heavily relied on hydro-power but due to global warming this has changed,” he said in Naivasha.

The ERC chief said that climate change had a major impact on electricity production adding that there was need to plant more trees in the country’s water catchments.

However, geothermal power which does not rely on weather has taken over as the country’s power demand rises, according to him.

Through the use of geothermal power, the cost of power tariffs has dropped by 31 percent among domestic users and 24 percent in the industrial sector since 2013, he said.

“We are currently working with other partners to construct a transmission line from Nairobi to Mombasa so that we can phase out thermal with geothermal power,” he said.

 

Xinhua / Zainab Sa’id