KenGen has invited Bitcoin miners to buy its excess renewable power capacity. The Kenyan power company claims that 86% of its energy comes from renewable sources, mostly geothermal from pockets of ground source heat in the Great Rift Valley. KenGen is keen to rent out space near its geothermal power station to Bitcoin miners.
Peketsa Mwangi, the Acting Director of geothermal development at KenGen, said the power company wants the crypto miners to call Kenya their home. He said KenGen has the space and the power is near, which helps with stability. However, there have been no reports about crypto miners wanting to go to Kenya. According to Cambridge’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBEI), Kenya houses no known Bitcoin mining operations. But it’s ideal for crypto miners as the eastern African nation’s estimated potential 10,000 MW of geothermal energy capacity.
KenGen operates at a maximum generating capacity of 863 MW after installing another geothermal power plant in April. It hopes to accomplish several goals by inviting miners to Kenya. KenGen can boost the crypto miners’ environmental sustainability, which has been under great scrutiny around the world. This may also push up demand for more development in KenGen’s power grid to increase total supply and reduce cost. Kenya currently, as per data from Statista, has the 12th most expensive electricity in the world where one-kilowatt hour (kWh) costs about $0.22.
The high cost may be due to its electrification rate. Only 70% of the population, by 2020, had access to the centralized grid. Energy grid tracker Energypedia highlighted that Kenya’s high cost to connect to the grid is a major obstacle to its expansion. The eastern African nation could also see greater revenue through fees from miners and taxes.