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Geothermal wells discovery to drive down cost of energy in Kenya

State owned Geothermal Development Company has discovered a Geothermal well at Paka Hills in Baringo County, expected to produce 22 Mega Watt of power, raising prospects of green and affordable energy in the country.

Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, while presiding over the opening of the well, described the resource as a significant ingredient in ongoing government’s efforts to lower the cost of power. He said the government intends to tender and invite investors to convert the steam to affordable hydro electricity.

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Geothermal Development Company contributes about 48.4% of geothermal power to the national grid. The government is banking on geothermal energy to arrest the rising cost of power. Chirchir said Kenya Electricity Transmission Company will start work on the modalities of evacuating cheaper power from Paka hills to the national grid making geothermal power competitive in the energy market.

“With such low tariffs and considering that geothermal is green energy , Kenya will attract inventors who will also take advantage of our infrastructure like the Standard Gauge Railway,Information Communications and Technology and educated workforce,” the CS observed.

GDC Managing Director and CEO Paul Ngugi said the development will raise Kenya’s industrialization prospects in Baringo and is a step towards achieving energy security. The Geothermal Development Company envisions the Paka field generating a substantial 100MW by 2030.

Engineer John Mativo of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company said his organizations plans to establish a 197km transmission line, linking Paka hills power plants to western Kenya, with completion expected in 2026.

GDC’s extensive geothermal efforts span across Silali,Korosi,Suswa, Menengai,where significant strides are being made towards a more sustainable future.

Gene Gituku/Dennis Rasto
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