Ethiopia has been making headlines in the energy sector in recent years, with the country's significant investments in hydroelectric power plants. The latest news is that Ethiopian units have exceeded Kenya's record for imported power, with the country now exporting more electricity than it imports. However, due to the country's worst drought in more than ten years, which affected local hydro-power output, Kenya's electricity imports reached a historic high in January. In this blog, we will discuss Kenya’s record for imported power.
Ethiopia's significant investment in hydroelectric power has enabled the country to produce more electricity than it needs. This excess power has been exported to neighboring countries, including Kenya, Djibouti, and Sudan. The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) company is responsible for generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity in the country. The company has been working to expand its power generation capacity to meet the growing demand for electricity in the region.
In 2020, Ethiopia exported a record 1.45 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to neighboring countries, including Kenya, according to Kenya imports and exports. This figure represents a significant increase from the previous year when Ethiopia exported 994 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. The increased export of electricity is a testament to the country's significant investments in the energy sector and its ambition to become a regional power hub.
The news that Ethiopian units have exceeded Kenya's record for imported power is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it shows that Ethiopia's investments in the energy sector are paying off, and the country is becoming a major player in the region's energy market. Secondly, it highlights the potential of renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric power, to meet the growing demand for electricity in the region.
Due to the country's worst drought in more than ten years, which affected local hydro-power output, Kenya's electricity imports reached a historic high in January.
According to recently released data from Kenya imports, the nation imported a record 68.48 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in January.
After the two nations signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the evacuation of less expensive hydroelectricity from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, up to 39.73 million units, or 58.01 percent, were imported from Ethiopia. (GERD).
Ethiopia's energy sector is dominated by hydroelectric power, with the country having some of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is currently under construction on the Blue Nile River, will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa and the seventh largest in the world. Once completed, the GERD will have a capacity of 6,450 megawatts and will significantly increase Ethiopia's power generation capacity. There are various factors such as-
After a trial run in November, Kenya formally began importing 200 megawatts (MW) of cheaper power from Ethiopia in January, which has helped stabilize the power supply.
To fill the gap in the local hydro-power product supply, an additional 28.75 million units were imported from Uganda, which is the most since March of last year when Uganda imports reached 31.07 million units.
Since 1964, Uganda and Kenya have had a power purchase agreement in place. Tanzania, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are also export destinations for Uganda's excess power. Kenya is another one of these nations according to Kenya Trade Data.
Kenya and Ethiopia have a 25-year electricity import agreement under which Kenya Power will purchase up to 200 MW from the GERD in the first three years, increasing to 400 MW for the remaining time. In the agreement, Kenya is paying Ethiopian power 6.50 US cents per kWh, a price that is considerably less than what independent power suppliers charge.
Before the long rains, Kenya was afflicted by a biting drought that had a negative impact on farmers, herders, and electricity generation.
In January 2023, KNBS reported that total local power generation had declined from 1,076.42 million kWh in December 2022 to 1,067.36 million kWh.
Hydropower generation, Kenya's second-largest energy source after geothermal, plummeted in February due to the drought. According to Kenya Import Data from the regulatory body Epra, hydropower generation fell drastically by 64% in February to 112.7 million units from 184.68 million units in January.
In conclusion, the news that Ethiopian units have exceeded Kenya's record for imported power is significant for both countries and the region as a whole. Ethiopia's investments in the energy sector are paying off, with the country becoming a major player in the region's energy market. The increased supply of electricity from Ethiopia will help to support Kenya's ambitious plans to increase its renewable energy capacity and provide a more reliable and affordable source of electricity for the country. The news is also a testament to the potential of renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric power, to meet the growing demand for electricity in the region.
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