In a bold move aimed at shaking up the energy sector in Kenya, Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have submitted a petition to Parliament, requesting permission to directly distribute electricity to end consumers.
This petition seeks to challenge the long-standing monopoly held by Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) over the distribution of electricity in the country.
If granted permission, IPPs would be able to establish their own distribution infrastructure, including power lines, transformers, and metering systems. This would enable them to supply electricity directly to consumers, bypassing Kenya Power’s existing network.
Currently, Kenya Power acts as the sole distributor of electricity in Kenya, procuring power from various sources, including IPPs, and distributing it to end consumers through its extensive network. This centralized control over distribution has often been criticized for its inefficiencies.
Also, the Electricity Sector Association of Kenya (ESAK) has called upon lawmakers to implement crucial reforms that will stimulate competition in the generation, transmission, and support services of power generation.
George Aluru, the chairperson of the Energy Sector Alliance of Kenya (ESAK), addressed the Senate Committee on Energy, advocating for the opening of the Kenya Power market to local independent power producers.
He proposed that the Energy Act of 2019, passed by Senate House, be implemented to facilitate competition.
At the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), there are currently 29 regulations awaiting approval from Parliament in order to foster an open power generation market and encourage competition in power transmission.
In a bid to address the persistent issue of power theft, Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Kenya have called for a thorough review of Kenya Power’s operational efficiencies. The IPPs argue that such a review is crucial to curbing power theft and ensuring a reliable and sustainable electricity supply across the country.
Power theft has been a longstanding challenge for Kenya Power, leading to substantial financial losses and hampering efforts to provide uninterrupted electricity to consumers. The IPPs, who contribute significantly to the country’s power generation, have expressed their concerns and are urging immediate action to rectify the situation.
The association appeared in front of the committee that is currently conducting a public inquiry into the exorbitant cost of electricity. To date, the committee, led by Wahome Wamatinga, has interrogated 11 independent power producers, including KenGen, in an effort to understand the reasons behind the soaring electricity prices.
The primary focus of the committee is to determine the underlying factors causing the IPPs to sell electricity to Kenya Power at inflated rates, ultimately leading to high cost of electricity.
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