MPs, Energy PS Joseph Njoroge have said, that the government will go ahead with plans to produce coal power despite opposition from civil society.
Speaking during the induction of members of the National Assembly’s Energy committee in Mombasa, Njoroge said hydropower has proven to be insufficient because of the drought.
CS Charles Keter had told the MPs that the government would close the Masinga Dam if it doesn’t rain in the next one month.
Keter said drought had cause water levels in the dam to reduce. Hydropower remains the country’s main source of power.
The government plans to establish a coal-fired power plant in Lamu. The project to be built by Amu Power Company has run into opposition from civil society groups and politicians, who have raised environmental concerns.
The opposition has been cited for the delay of the construction of the 1,050-megawatt plant.
The construction of the Sh200 billion plant was to start in September 2015 and end in June 2017.But it is yet to start.
The company will inject an extra 1,050mW of power into the national grid.
Kenya currently produces 2,400megawatts.
Njoroge said the government will explain to residents the benefits of coal power and try to convince the public and other players over the safety of the energy source.
Those opposed to the project say coal is dirty and its production will have a negative impact on the environment.
Coal is responsible for the biggest pollution of major fossil fuels. It has been blamed for greenhouse gases, which cause global warming, flooding and rising sea levels.
The European Union, South Africa-based NGO, Greenpeace Africa and World Wildlife Fund have all cautioned Kenya against setting up the coal plant.
Njoroge said the government plans to ensure the use of the Super Clean Coal Technology to produce the coal power.
“The most important thing is to mitigate emissions and the technology is there. China and Japan use this technology and it is best that we benchmark with them so that we talk from a point of knowledge,” Njoroge said.