Energy Ministry seeks to add cow dung powered plants to the grid

    Cow dung fed biogas plants could soon power the national grid as the Energy Ministry moves to test the efficacy of the cattle waste in electricity generation.

    In a notice issued on Tuesday, the Ministry of Energy has invited bids for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of prefabricated domestic biogas plants using cow dung as the feedstock.

    The project will be carried out in the counties of Makueni, Siaya, Busia and Narok.

    The initiative aligns to the Ministry’s goal of reducing its reliance on expensive power sources.

    This by going for sustainable energy options which not only cuts electricity costs to consumers but also promotes eco-sustainability.

    The Ministry has aggressively pursued renewable sources of energy in the recent years as it also seeks to cut the cost of power generation.

    Last year, 518 megawatts (MW) 518 megawatts (MW) of power was added to the national grid through renewable sources.

    This includes expansion of Olkaria 5 unit which added 158MW; the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) power wind project and the 50MW Garissa solar farm.

    Last year, Kenya cut its dependence on thermal power sources which feature diesel powered plants by 11.3 per cent.

    Data from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) indicates that 86.8 per cent of the country’s energy mix is composed of renewable sources.

    Geothermal leads with a share of 45 per cent.

    Kenya’s total installed electricity capacity stood at 2819 MW at the end of 2019 while peak demand was estimated at 1912 MW.

    In 2017, Kenya became the first country to add biogas to its national grid.

    This after a 2.2 megawatt crop residue powered plant in Naivasha’s Gorge Farm Energy Park was connected to the grid.