- The East African economic basket, Kenya, has admitted that is has failed to achieve its target of connecting about 20 percent of the rural population with electricity by 2010.
Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi said electricity connectivity to rural households still stands at just 10 percent, and the 20 percent target by December next year might not be realised with the current financial constraints.
Addressing the energy forum today, Mr Murungi said despite the a medium voltage power grid now within reach of 63 percent of the population, the target would not be realised as projected.
He said the energy ministry needed Sh56.5 billion ($753 million) for Geothermal Resources Assessment, Sh112.5 billion ($1.5 billion) for power generation of at least an additional 2000MW, Sh35 billion ($464million) for electricity distribution and Sh82.5 billion ($1.1 billion) for rural electrification.
Mr Murungi told the forum that with the current connectivity in the rural areas, realising 40 percent connectivity in another 10 years would still be a hurdle the government would have to overcome.
He said electricity production and distribution was critical in enabling the country to achieve its socio-economic development goals targets as envisioned the national Vision 2030 document.
Reports have indicated that the government was now looking at other options including geothermal power generation, but again this faces yet another challenge owing to the capital intensive nature of investments in geothermal energy.
The Kenyan authorities set out in 2004 to raise the coverage rate gradually from 4 percent then to 20 percent in 2010 and 40 percent by 2020.
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