The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Kenya tops per capita consumption of electricity in East Africa while Burundi records the lowest intake

The seven East African Community Member States have a total 7,381.67 Megawatts of installed capacity of electricity power supply, it has been revealed.

With regard to power connectivity in East Africa, the region has while the total system peak demand stands at 4,811.2 Megawatts.

The regional per capita electricity consumption was reported to range from 25 kilowatt hours in Burundi to 153 kilowatt hours in Kenya.

On the other hand the East African Community (EAC) Partner States have reaffirmed their commitment to enhance energy efficiency and exploit wind, solar and geothermal energy as sustainable energy sources for the region.

Partner States are embarking on various initiatives in an effort to tap into the potential of renewable energy and energy conservation, such as review of national renewable energy laws, implementation of energy management regulations, national strategies and standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.

At the Ministerial Session of the sixteenth Sectoral Council of Energy held in Arusha, Partner States reported that investments in wind and solar energy infrastructure were also underway, from Burundi’s solar mini grids to Kenya’s wind and solar projects, all aimed at increasing renewable energy contributions to the national grid.

Similarly, Rwanda and Tanzania affirmed increased investment in solar energy projects, while Uganda reported that she is focusing on solar energy deployment for rural electrification.

The Ministers were informed that the Partner States were also exploring mini-hydro projects and transforming biomass energy sources with initiatives ranging from promoting sustainable charcoal production to implementing clean cooking solutions and bioenergy strategies.

They noted the updates on ongoing fossil fuel projects and underscored the region’s commitment to fossil fuel sub-sector development.

Notable progress includes Kenya’s commercial oil discovery in the South Lokichar basin within the Tertiary rift basin with an estimated 2.9 billion barrels and a recoverable estimate of 585 million barrels.

Other updates were on Tanzania’s preparations for the Fifth licensing round of oil and natural gas exploration blocks on both onshore and offshore areas, with an aim of attracting more investors.

There is also the Uganda’s petroleum resource development projects and the progress in the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project whose actual Installation of pipes on the ground is scheduled to begin in May, 2024.

Rwanda is working on the utilization of methane gas for electricity generation.

In promoting petroleum exploration and development in the region, the Sectoral Council approved the Eleventh East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition 2025 to be held from March 5 to 7, 2025 in Tanzania.

Challenges in electricity supply were described to be a result of vandalism of electricity infrastructure.

Partner States have committed to combat the issue, with Kenya establishing specialized police units.

The EAC Secretariat urged the Partner States to implement mitigation measures such as copper-plated earth rods, regulating scrap metal transactions and community sensitization.

“Energy plays a critical role in industrial development and investment promotion, and therefore access to reliable, safe and cost-effective energy is not optional but compulsory if our region is to realise its development objectives,” stated Shaib Hassan Kaduara, the Zanzibar Minister of Water, Energy and Minerals.

The Minister extended an invitation to Partner States to the official launch of Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant scheduled for 25th February, 2024.

 “This hydropower plant has a capacity of generating 2,115 Megawatts, the launch of this project is a milestone that will reduce the deficit of electricity not only in Tanzania but in the entire region,” he added.

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