The proportion of the population with access to electricity has increased rapidly over the years thanks to the government’s national electrification programmes.
According to the Energy Regulatory Commission and the Kenya Power, The proportion of the population with access to electricity now stands at 55% up from 27% in 2013 with 63 per cent households are now connected to the national grid.
Kenya power’s acting CEO Ken Tarus says 5.9 million people are now connected to the national grid.
Under the National Connectivity Project, the government plans to boost power penetration to 70% by the end of this year and 95% by 2021.
Compared to her regional counterparts, Kenya has the highest number of people connected to electricity (36%) compared to Uganda (20.4%) and Tanzania (15.5 %).
Kenya however trails South Africa (80%) and Nigeria (57.7%) in the percentage of the population with access to electricity.
Cost of Electricity
The cost of electricity in Kenya however remains high and several reports have cited it as one of the factors affecting the ease of doing business in Kenya.
The government has however been making efforts to lower the cost of electricity.
In 2013 for instance, the cabinet approved a proposal by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to withdraw charges imposed on electricity generation, transmission and distribution by Local Authorities and Government Agencies.
The country also moved to geothermal production which is cheaper compared to the use of diesel generated power plants, which make power costly due to the high fuel prices and In September 2014, the government announced a 30 percent drop in the cost of electricity in the country. The cut down was as a result of an injection of 210 megawatts of additional power to the national grid from geothermal production.
National generating capacity stands at 2.3 GW and more than 57 per cent of the new generation is from relatively cheaper geothermal energy.