Kenya to double its geothermal energy capacity this yearJanuary 31, 2014
Geothermal power begins finding more support in Kenya
Kenya has plans to significantly increase its renewable energy capacity this year. The country has turned to clean power in an effort to make electricity more available to its residents while also establishing a stronger degree of economic stability. In order to increase its clean power capacity, the country is beginning to focus more heavily on geothermal energy. This year, Kenya plans to double the power produced by its geothermal systems located in Olkaria and Menengai.
KenGen to acquire more electricity from geothermal sources
KenGen, one of the largest energy companies in Kenya, is set to commission more electrical power from existing geothermal energy systems. Currently, two existing geothermal plants are active in the country and KenGen is set to acquire a combined 280 megawatts from these systems this year. This electrical power will be distributed throughout Kenya and is expected to help reduce the financial strain that is associated with the country’s reliance on hydroelectricity and fossil-fuels.
Energy company seeks to develop new 400MW geothermal plant
The Geothermal Development Company is also working to bolster the country’s renewable energy capacity. The company is developing a new geothermal plant that is expected to have a total capacity of 400 megawatts. This geothermal plan is scheduled to become operational in 2017. The introduction of new energy capacity may help Kenya phase out its use of hydroelectricity in the future. Hydroelectricity has become a very expensive form of power in the country due to drought and the vanishing of viable energy resources.
Geothermal power may help alleviate some of the financial strain caused by Kenya’s other energy resources
Kenya officials estimate that the country has 700 megawatts of geothermal potential that has not yet been tapped. Several energy firms are currently negotiating with the government concerning new projects that could help boost Kenya’s use of geothermal energy. Currently, the potential for less expensive energy is one of the most attractive features of geothermal power. With a higher geothermal energy capacity, Kenya would have to rely less on its older hydroelectricity systems and fossil-fuels that are typically imported from other countries.