Power crisis: beyond blame and blunder

Power crisis: beyond blame and blunder

Addressing the real problems behind electricity supply in Kenya

Report on a forum held in response to the power crisis in Kenya. Rationing started in September 1999, intensified in May 2000 and rain failure for the second year led to an announcement in June 2000 of a more pronounced regime of power rationing for the whole country. This paper looks at the real reasons behind the crisis, the implications of it and ways to move on.

Drought is not the explanation for the power crisis. Water shortages serve to exaggerate the structural generation deficit which is due to: construction delays; poor grid maintenence; over-reliance on hydro-sources and poor dam maintainence.The paper describes the history of the rationing and its costs both direct and indirect. It highlights that Kenya's 2020 industrialisation plan cannot be realised without a long term power plan that allows for substantial growth in demand for electricity.

The paper recommends:

  • a reorientation of the sources sources away from hydroelectric power alone
  • the immediate commencement of the deregulation and preparation of the KPLC for ultimate privatisation
  • expansion of the infrastructure for wider coverage

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.