Picture: Reuters
INTERNATIONAL - Kenya's geothermal capacity will hit 1,000 MW by end of 2019, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Charles Keter, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Energy told journalists in Nairobi that in a few weeks, a 165 MW geothermal power plant will be commissioned to boost the country's green energy sources.

"The new power plant will increase the amount of power from geothermal sources to 1,000 MW, pushing Kenya to the seventh position as the largest producer of geothermal," said Keter during the rebranding launch of the energy and petroleum regulatory authority.

Government data indicates that the east African nation's electricity generation installed capacity stands at approximately 2,700 MW. Keter said that Kenya is prioritizing the use of geothermal power because it is a cheaper source of energy that is abundant especially in the rift valley region.

He added that 80 percent of the country's electricity is produced through renewable energy sources such as geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar sources.

"We are determined to wean off the country of expensive thermal sources, starting with Iberafrica's 56 MW plant which was plugged off at the end of last month," he revealed.

According to the ministry of energy, all the lapsing power purchase agreements for thermal plants will not be renewed so as to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. "Kenya remains focused on the provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, quality and reliable energy for all," he added. Keter observed that energy is at the heart of the national development goals because it is an enabler of economic activity.

XINHUA