“Geothermal energy potential of 10,000MW in Kenya alone”
The upcoming East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) in Nairobi in September will feature a Geothermal Power Summit, providing a dedicated focus on the potential of geothermal energy in the region, the available financing options, specialised technologies and exploration challenges. More than 500 power professionals will gather in the Kenyan capital from 10-11 September for the 15th edition of EAPIC.
“In Kenya alone, there is a potential of approximately 10 000 MW of electric power”, says Dr Nicholas Mariita, Chief Geothermal Training Officer at Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), the country’s state utility, and an expert speaker at EAPIC in September.
Huge capacity development required
According to KenGen, state-owned and IPP geothermal plants currently contribute some 202 MW of Kenya’s annual 1597 MW power generation. According to Dr Mariita, “to attain Vision 2030, Kenya needs to increase electrical production from 1597 MW to around 17 760 MW in order to satisfy the projected power peak demand of 15 000 MW in year 2030. This demands a 1200% expansion of power generation, of which, approximately 7000 MW will come from geothermal resources. Thus, huge capacity development is required to increase geothermal power generation.”
Lack of regulatory frameworks
The Great Rift Valley, running from Middle East to Mozambique (through Ethiopia, North & South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi) has a great potential for geothermal energy, particularly in East Africa, where geothermal manifestations such as hot springs, fumaroles and geysers are prevalent.
Says Dr Mariita, “the countries of the East African Rift System (EARS) have a considerable geothermal energy potential. Only Kenya has made significant efforts to harness this potential so far. To develop this resource, it has developed a geothermal development Act of Parliament. Most countries of the EARS have no strategy and inadequate legislative and regulatory frameworks for the development of the geothermal subsector. Existing regional initiatives are mostly focusing on exploration and site/project-specific activities such as (pre-) feasibility studies, project implementation planning, negotiation of power purchase agreements.”
Speaker and topic highlights from the EAPIC Geothermal Power Summit:
- Geothermal capacity building: collaboration between higher learning institutes and the sector
– Dr Nicholas Mariita, Superintendent, KenGen, Kenya
- Financing options for geothermal projects
– Kirsten Offermanns, Principal Project Manager, KfW Development Commission,
- Geothermal exploration
– Ludvik Georgsson, Deputy Director, United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme, Iceland Geothermal, Iceland
- Challenges in developing Katwe – Bunyampaka geothermal area
– Ralph Nyakabwa-Atwoki, Project Consultant, Kenya
- Sustainable development of geothermal
– Philipe Niyangabo, Head of Energy Division, Dept. of Infrastructure and Energy,
African Union Commission, Ethiopia
Also confirmed to address EAPIC are Uganda’s Energy Minister, the Honourable Engineer Irene Muloni and CEOs from utilities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Event dates and location:
Conference days: 10-11 September 2013
Pre-conference workshop: 9 September 2013
Site visit: 12 September 2013
Location: Safari Park Hotel, Kasarani Off Thika Road, Nairobi, Kenya
Event website: www.eapicforum.com
Communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone: +27 21 7003558
Mobile: +27 82 5627844