Energy sector feeling effects of climate change

Energy sector feeling effects of climate change

The energy sector is already feeling the effects of weather vagaries caused by climatic changes with hydro-power being the most affected.

Unpredictable rain patterns coupled by frequent drought have seen production of hydro-power drop from 70 percent in the 80s to below 50 percent.

Geothermal power, which does not rely on weather, has taken over as the country power demand rises by the day.

According to the Director General Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Eng. Joe Ng’anga, the effects of global warming are real.

Ng’ang’a said that hydro-power heavily relied on rainfall whose pattern was no longer periodic thus adversely affecting the supply of electricity.

“A couple of years back, the country heavily relied on hydro-power but due to global warming this has changed,” he said.

He was, however, quick to note that despite the emerging challenges, the country had shifted to geothermal power had come in handy.

“Though the use of geothermal power, we have seen the cost of power tariffs drop by 31 percent among domestic users and 24 percent in the industrial sector,” he said.

The DG said that climate change had a major impact on electricity production adding that there was need to plant more trees in the country’s water catchments.

“We are currently working with other partners to construct a transmission line from Nairobi to Mombasa so that we can phase out thermal with geothermal power,” he added.

Ng’anga was addressing the press during a tree planting ceremony in Eburru forest where the company has adopted 25 acres in the catchment area and planted 10,000 trees in three years.

During the function ERC said that it would continue with its project to support tree planting and conservation of the endangered forest.

Senior Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officer Sylvester Mac’Odera said that the fencing of the forest had seen cases of human-wildlife conflict drop by 70 percent.

He said that KFS was keen to working with other stakeholders to support conservation through farm-forest where farmers planted trees in their farms and stopped relying on forests.

On his part, Joseph Mutongu from Rhino Ark termed the completion of the 43km fence around the forest as a big achievement and blessing for area residents.

“Before logging and poaching was the order of the day but this has ended and we have opened up a wildlife corridor for the animals to access water from Lake Naivasha,” he said.

Report by Karanja Kimani

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