The ambition of President Uhuru Kenyatta to increase Kenya’s installed generation capacity from 2,712 megawatts to 22,000 by 2031 to boost its economy is on course after the country unveiled its USD 5 Billion nuclear power plant plan. The expansion is one of the components of the country’s Big Four Agenda.
East Africa’s largest economy has ambitions to set up nuclear power plants in an effort to diversify its electricity generation mix. The impact studies for the project have already been submitted.
Kenya plans to have built and started operating the mega facility in the next 7 years. By 2030, the country is slated to have installed 4 GW of nuclear energy, which will enable it generate 19 percent of its energy consumption tally.
Once complete, the East African giant will have nuclear power as its second largest source of energy, coming after the geothermal cleantech.
Hydropower remains Kenya’s biggest electricity source at 35 percent, while the rest comes from wind, heavy oil plants and geothermal. But the reliability on hydro is questionable due to the reality that periods of drought have affected the output of associated plants.
climate change has also played a huge impact on the patterns of rainfall and temperature, giving birth to periods of both floods and extreme lack of water in most parts of the country
The Kenyan government has planned to expand the sector’s capacity four times by the turn of 2035, according to a report by the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency.
With Chinese funding, Kenya plans to develop a coal-fired plant on its coast, but the plans have been delayed by a court action from a team of environmental activists.
Once the National Environment Management Authority, Kenya’s watchdog body approves it, the project can kick off.
Presently, no less than 400 nuclear power reactors operate in 30 different countries across the globe, testifying of the growth of the sector. South Africa is the only country in Africa that has a commercial nuclear power plant, with two reactors accounting for 5 percent of the country’s electricity production.