Kenya: Geothermal Development Company key driver of geothermal development
Kenya's Geothermal Development Company will fast-track the exploration and exploitation of geothermal energy, carrying out appraisals and divide potential areas into blocks and concession the steam wells to investors.
A recent article from Kenya looks at the Geothermal Development Company and how it “will fast-track the exploration and exploitation of geothermal energy in the country to increase the country’s power output.
The firm will carry out appraisals and divide potential areas into blocks and concession the steam wells to investors.
Chief executive Silas Simiyu said that over the past 30 years, the country has only harnessed 167 MW of power out of the potential 7,000 MW.
“The massive resource has been lying idle for ages. Of the 7,000 MW geothermal potential, the sector is contributing only 167 MW or 22 per cent to the national grid,” said Mr Simiyu.
He said hydro energy was no-longer reliable as it is prone to the vagaries of weather.
“Geothermal in this country has a base load of 95 per cent making it the most reliable source of energy,” he said.
Mr Simiyu, however, said that exploiting geothermal energy requires heavy initial capital investment thus scaring away potential investors adding that the government, had committed itself to meeting the initial costs that will develop the steam fields.
“It will be difficult to progress economically in the absence of affordable, reliable and clean energy,” said the CEO. He spoke at a workshop for geothermal experts at a Naivasha hotel on Sunday.
Initial studies indicate that there are some 14 high potential geothermal sites running along the Rift Valley which is at the centre of volcanic activities.
Speaking at the same function, Prof Hiroyuki Hino the economic advisor to the Prime Minister said the government’s goal was to ensure steam worth generating close to 4,000 MW of electricity in the next 20 years.
“This development plan aspires to power Kenya into a mid-income economy. To achieve this, GDC and KenGen will need trained experts,” he said.
Mr Hino described the geothermal firm as a special purpose vehicle created by the Government of Kenya to explore and the vast geothermal resource in the country.”
Source: Daily Nation