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Kenya Power Laments as Costumers Switch to Solar Energy

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Kenya Power Laments as Costumers Switch to Solar Energy

Kenya Power has raised alarm over the growing number of customers shifting to solar energy.

The State-owned electricity distributor indicated that its industrial clients who account for nearly 60 percent of its revenues are gradually installing solar power systems, dealing a blow to its already diminishing finances.

“The company operated in a challenging environment over the financial year under review, where demand growth at 3.7 percent remained below the projected level of five percent.”

“The dampened demand growth is further compounded with the increased threats of grid defection by the industrial category as decentralized renewable energy options are becoming more available and cheaper," Kenya Power said in its latest annual report.

The company sold 4,462 Gigawatt hours worth Sh63 billion to industrial customers in the year to June 2019, accounting for 45 percent of its total revenue.

Some of the heavy power consumers including companies, institutions, and factories are turning to solar photovoltaic (PV) grid-tied systems, which are reliable and cheaper.

Africa Logistics Properties (ALP), Mombasa International Airport, and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) are among entities that have shifted to solar power, according to Business Daily.

Others are Kenyatta University, London Distillers, Williamson Tea, Nairobi’s Garden City Mall, and Strathmore University. Several other companies including Kapa Oil Refineries have laid out plans to move to solar energy.

Data released last year indicated that a total of 2.3 million Kenyan households used solar for lighting, translating to about 20 percent of the total number of homes in the country.