Government bets big on geothermal energy

Written By: Christine Muchira

Jared Othieno

Kenya plans to generate 5000Mw of geothermal energy by the year 2030.

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Kenya´s growing capacity to develop geothermal energy has been lauded as the biggest in Africa and among the top in the world.

Being the first African country to build geothermal energy sources, Kenya was in April ranked the 7th largest producer of geothermal energy in the world and the leading on the African continent.

According to Geothermal Development Company Managing Director Jared Othieno, the company´s aim is to develop the Menengai field in Nakuru County to tap enough steam to produce about 465 megawatts.

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Mr. Othieno lauded the growth of geothermal capacity in terms of megawatts loaded onto the national grid, terming it impressive.

Geothermal gives an opportunity for the country to develop renewable energy and to have a resource that can provide a baseload with a high capacity factor.

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He reiterated the need to create a conducive environment for investors to thrive in power generation noting that if costs were de-risked then Geothermal could give the country an opportunity for investors to plug in and bring down the cost of power.

Engineer Othieno has been the MD for GDC for the past few months and he promises to  drive a GDC that is more ethical.

“If there are any policies that may create gaps we intend to close them.We’ve tried to manage most contracts well and have avoided litigations.”

The energy produced will also provide local farmers with reliable and cheap electricity.

The Rift Valley is Kenya geothermal energy hub with an estimated potential of 10000 megawatts.

 

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