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(From The Nation (Kenya) - AAGM)
Byline: Jeff Otieno
Five years ago, the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Communication and Public Works warned that unless Kenya increases its power generation capacity, industrialisation by the year 2020 will forever remain a mirage.
It also advised that Kenya stops relying on hydroelectric power and develop wind power, which is popular in Netherlands and Australia. Five years later, nothing seems to have changed.
The country has an installed capacity of 1050 MW and the demand is growing at about eight per cent annually. Peak demand for electricity is also rising sharply. For example, the demand rose from 758 MW in July 2003 to 830MW in July 2004 before hitting 920MW last year.
Decreased water volumes in the hydroelectric power dams will make it difficult for the Government to meet the ever increasing electricity demands which currently stands at 930MW. Indeed, because of the current drought and the expected increase in demand for power, the Ministry of Energy has projected a deficit of 117 megawatts in May this year, which could rise to 174 MW in December.
The Seven Forks dam, the country's main hydroelectric …