Kenya set to expand its geothermal energy capacity in coming yearsMarch 16, 2016 0 By Bret Williams
Kenya is establishing a lead in the geothermal power sector
Kenya has become one of the world’s leaders in geothermal energy production. The Kenya Electricity Generating Company has located 14 sites that have geothermal potential. The company believes that geothermal power could become a valuable source of energy for the country and it may help Kenya become more environmentally friendly. Geothermal systems tap into the inherent power of the earth, making use of a mixture of heated water and steam under pressure to generate electricity.
Many Kenyans lack reliable access to electrical power
One third of Kenya’s population does not have reliable access to electrical power. In the past, Kenya has depended heavily on its hydropower network, but longstanding droughts have made this source of energy unreliable. Kenya has been working to embrace other forms of electrical power in order to better serve its residents. The Kenyan government has made ensuring access to electrical power one of its top priorities and aims to triple the country’s energy production by 2020.
New geothermal sites could generate as much as 10,000 MW
The 14 sites identified by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company have the potential to generate approximately 10,000 megawatts of electrical power. The company notes that tapping into the geothermal energy located in Kenya may be easier than doing so in other parts of the world. The crust in Kenya is thinner within its Great Rift Valley, where the 14 geothermal sites are located. This may have an impact on the overall cost of any geothermal projects that take form in the country, as less work will be needed to take advantage of geothermal resources.
Kenya’s geothermal capacity set to grow quickly in the coming years
Approximately 5% of Kenya’s electricity comes from geothermal energy systems, making it 8th in the world in terms of geothermal production. The country plans to expand its geothermal capacity in the coming years in an effort to provide residents with reliable access to electrical power. The use of geothermal energy will also limit emissions production, making Kenya more environmentally friendly.