Kenya Power's Strategy to Reduce Technical Losses

Kenya Power's Strategy to Reduce Technical Losses

Kenya Power is implementing a comprehensive strategy to combat technical losses, which cost the company billions of shillings annually. The company plans to double the voltage of some power lines in Nairobi, which will significantly reduce technical losses.

Doubling the voltage reduces the current, thereby lowering the heat generated and energy lost along power lines. Kenya Power's system losses rose to 23% in June 2023, with technical losses accounting for half due to leakages in transmission and distribution lines.

Reducing technical losses is challenging and expensive. Kenya Power is considering using copper wires to reduce resistance, but this option is costly. However, the company intends to upgrade some 66-kilovolt lines in Nairobi to 132-kilovolt lines to mitigate these losses.

The company currently has limited high-voltage transmission lines, which have the lowest resistance and losses. In contrast, Kenya Power has an extensive network of medium and low-voltage distribution lines, which incur the highest losses.

Kenya Power aims to minimize system losses as the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) has reduced the threshold for losses that can be passed on to consumers. Epra currently permits Kenya Power to pass 18.5% of losses onto consumers, down from 19.9% previously. Unless Kenya Power reduces system losses, it will bear a larger financial burden for these costs.