On 5th August 2018, Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) formerly Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board (KNEB) participated in the 6th Edition of the Great Energy Debate at Strathmore University. The Debate organized by focused on the role of Energy in the Big 4 Agenda that focuses at enhancing Manufacturing, Health Care, Food security and affordable housing in Kenya. NuPEA was represented by Eng. Collins Juma, Chief Executive Officer who was a panelist in the Debate that drew participants from the academia, industry, NGOs, Government utilities under the Ministry of Energy represented by their respective Chief Executive Officers, Independent Power Producers, Consumer bodies, students and energy enthusiasts.
The Debate sought to address the following questions; Do we have the right generation mix to support industrialization and Big 4 Agenda?Are we getting the stable and affordable power that will unlock the full potential of Big 4 Agenda? What are the opportunities in the electricity sector value chain as the roll out implementation of the Big 4 Agenda gathers momentum and will renewable energy unlock the full potential of the Big 4 Agenda?
The Debate consisted of two sessions, one where panelists made their opening remarks and the plenary session for questions and answers. One of the questions asked to NuPEA CEO Eng. Collins Juma, is how far is Kenya’s nuclear power programme is and why nuclear the introduction of nuclear in Kenya’s energy mix and by when?
Answering the questions NuPEA CEO Eng Collins Juma informed the participants that the nuclear electricity generation journey started in 2010 when the National Social Economic Council chaired by then Retired President Mwai Kibaki in the bid to diversify Kenya’s energy mix and generate electricity in a least cost manner decided to explore various energy technologies to power vision 2030. Nuclear electricity was introduced as a vision 2030 flagship project as an enabler of economic pillar, said Eng. Juma.
He further reiterated that nuclear energy was introduced to complement the already existing energy sources (Geothermal, wind, solar, coal) in the country as a baseload power to meet the growing electricity demand. ‘NuPEA is currently working with a dateline of 2027 when it’s planning to commission the first 1000MW nuclear plant, at the moment we are implementing the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the 19 Infrastructure issues after conducting a review of Kenya’s programme with a view of ensuring safe operation of nuclear power plant in Kenya, siting activities, Strategic Environment Assessments, grid study, reactor technology Assessment among others’ said Eng Juma.
This is the second time Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board is participating in Energy Debate as part of its wider stakeholder sensitization and engagement plan on nuclear energy development in the country.
The Debate provided information on the opportunities and challenges facing the energy sector and how to take up prospects generated as the country implements the Big 4 Agenda.
By Faith Kosgei