Cleaner energy for all
Backing Kenya’s ambitious plans
As part of its development plans for the country, KenyaVision 2030, the Kenyan government is aiming for universal electricity access through a comprehensive electrification programme and the expansion of generation from renewables. The EIB supported these efforts in 2017 through two new projects:
- the Last Mile Connectivity Programme;
- and a further increase in capacity at the Olkaria geothermal facility.
The EIB is co-financing Last Mile alongside the Agence Française de Développement and a EUR 30m investment grant from the EU under the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, without which a project of this kind could not go ahead. Key expected results:
- power lines extended into rural areas in 32 of the 47 counties in Kenya;
- 300 000 households connected to the grid, thus bringing power to around 1.5 million Kenyans.
To support the generation of clean power, the Bank has also invested in an extension to the Olkaria I geothermal plant. The installation of an additional turbine will:
- add 70 MW to the facility’s total capacity;
- supply electricity to an additional 530 000 households.
Geothermal power is renewable and clean as it harnesses the immense heat energy within the Earth’s crust. While creating CO2 emissions of 13 kt CO2-eq/year, the project also represents a reduction in CO2 emissions relative to likely alternative sources of power of around 179 kt CO2-eq/year.
The EIB has now worked with Olkaria’s promoter, KenGen, on five projects over three decades. Part of this fruitful partnership is learning lessons on best practices for carrying out projects, and the Bank and KenGen are working together to ensure the highest of environmental and social standards are implemented. For the Olkaria extension project, KenGen is working with the Kenyan Wildlife Service to minimise any impacts on the diverse wildlife of the Hell’s Gate National Park, where Olkaria is located. Geothermal power is a key strategic part of Kenya’s energy mix. It can also be sustainable and beneficial to all.