Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua when he commissioned the construction of the Menengai Geothermal Power Project in Nakuru County. PHOTO/DPCS.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said the government is determined to bring down the cost of power through pragmatic solutions that will be beneficial to the country.
Speaking on Thursday when he broke the ground for the construction of the Menengai Geothermal Power Project in Nakuru County, the DP said the Kenya Kwanza Administration was focused on laying down interventions that will speed up the restoration of the economy.
Mr Gachagua said in the short time they have been in office they had deliberately revived initiatives like the Menengai Power Project in a bid to rejig the economy through reduced cost of power.
“We have done this through deliberate, pragmatic interventions that are aimed at transitioning the country to green energy. We are determined to bring the cost of power down for all domestic users and manufacturers,” said Mr Gachagua.
The Project is worth USD 145 million (Sh18 billion) and is set to be completed by May, 2025.
The government through the Geothermal Development Company is partnering with international partners including Globeleq and the African Development Bank
to implement the project that will see an additional 35MW to the national grid.
Mr Gachagua said the Project will translate to lower cost of power and ultimately reduced cost of living.
“Reduced cost of power is a catalyst to our development Pillar under manufacturing which will not only reduce the cost of production but also accelerate job creation for our unemployed population especially the youth,” stated the DP.
The DP said they had taken time to study the challenges in the energy sector and are rolling out recovery measures to enable it make better contributions to economic recovery.
With natural calamities such as the recent drought that heightened challenges in the energy sector, the DP said geothermal was the best option that will save the nation from similar troubles in the future.
“We ride on the fact that green energy is more reliable than fossil fuel or hydropower even in times of catastrophes like in the recent drought which substantially reduced the volumes of water in our rivers,” he observed.
The investment in geothermal power, the DP assured, will not only help in faster transition to green energy but also improves the government’s quest to meet energy demands.
“Geothermal power alone contributes 45.5 percent to the national grid. This means we are on track to meeting our power demand which keeps rising at the rate of 3.1% annually,” he said.
The project pushes Kenya closer to the target of 100% transition to renewable energy. Currently, at least 87.42 percent of the country’ power is green.
The DP challenged the project implementers to ensure local people are employed and given an opportunity to exercise their skills through the multi-billion project.
“The people living around this place must benefit from the project. We have many skilled people who can easily contribute to its implementation,” he said.