Tag Archives: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Plugged in to progress with geothermal energy in Kenya

Plugged in to progress with geothermal energy in Kenya



•  Geothermal delivers carbon-free power in Kenya

•  Small businesses benefit and communities are safer

•  Rift valley resource could power 150 million households in Africa

Jackson Kiloku, a 26-year-old Masai who herds animals and raises vegetables, stood at the far end of Inkoiriento village, a panoply of wooden and rusted tin-roofed buildings in Kenya’s Nakuru County, and pointed to cables in the sky. “I hope electricity will flow through them soon,” he said. “Electricity will be good for our local school and good for our businesses.” Daniel Parsitau, a fellow villager added that electricity would make life at home easier as well.

Both look to Kenya’s Olkaria geothermal plant, on the boundaries of Hell’s Gate National Park, to deliver this new electricity. Olkaria, which has received long-term support from the World Bank  and other agencies, is part of Kenya’s plan to substantially increase the contribution of geothermal to the country’s energy mix.

Only 16% of Kenyans have access to electricity, but with evidence of abundant geothermal resources beneath the country’s share of East Africa’s Rift Valley, the government plans to double geothermal generation to bring electricity to villages like Inkoiriento. Already, geothermal—developed with $300 million in support from the World Bank since 1978 —delivers about 13% of Kenya’s electricity; the goal is to raise that proportion to close to 30% by 2020.

Hairdresser Elizabeth Kyalo and her assistant now use electric appliances to straighten, dye, and style their customers’ hair. Electric lighting allows them to stay open after dusk: “I have more business now and am able to pay for schooling of my kids,” said Elizabeth.

Getting access to electricity also improves safety for women in remote areas. Before Kola Division village got electricity, for example, resident Jossylyn Mutua was attacked by machete-wielding thieves who sliced her forehead and smashed her arms. She has since relocated to Nairobi but would consider moving back to her village now that it has electricity.

“Lighting has secured the area,” said Norman Mulei, a grocer, a few shops away. He and his sister run their grocery from 6 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. They feel that having electricity has made it safer for them to stay open at night.

Concerted global action key to providing access

It is relatively clean and non-polluting, and can provide constant power. || Pierre Audinet, Clean Energy Program Team Leader at the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP)

Geothermal is also delivering carbon-free access to electricity. “It is relatively clean and non-polluting, and can provide constant power,” says Pierre Audinet, Clean Energy Program Team Leader at the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). “For many developing countries, this is a potentially transformative resource.”

Getting to that transformation, however, will take concerted international action.

Many other countries share Kenya’s prospects. Geothermal resources are concentrated in regions of tectonic activity, from Africa’s Rift Valley, to Central America, to Southeast Asia. About 40 countries worldwide have geothermal resources that could meet a very significant portion of the national electricity demand.

The World Bank and ESMAP are preparing a Global Geothermal Development Plan to mobilize funding for geothermal development. This partnership with bilateral funding agencies and other multilateral banks will target regions of high potential and finance the test drilling phase, to trigger further private investment along other stages of the geothermal value chain. The goal is to boost geothermal electricity production capacity in low- and middle-income countries, and thereby deliver power to some of the 1.3 billion worldwide who remain without it.

World Bank support for scaling up geothermal

Supporting the scale-up of geothermal power in developing countries is among the Bank Group’s key commitments as part of the global Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to achieve universal energy access, double the proportion of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency, all by 2030.  Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim recently joined with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to co-chair the advisory board that will provide strategic guidance to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

Because geothermal power projects require often extensive preliminary test drilling, they are more capital intensive than many other renewable energy projects. Significant investment is required before it becomes clear whether a site has the potential to recover the costs. Geothermal projects also have relatively long lead times from the start of exploration to power plant commissioning and the first revenues. But geothermal offers great promise, especially in East Africa, where the Rift Valley’s geothermal potential could power up to 150 million households. This is why the Bank Group is working with Kenya to support geothermal development with concessional funding in the early stages.

World Bank Group support for geothermal development is growing, rising from $73 million in 2007 to $336 million in 2012. Geothermal now represents almost 10 percent of the Bank’s total renewable energy lending.  The Global Geothermal Development Plan is expected to boost that support even further.


Source: WorldBank.org

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Emergency Aid Headed to Niger for Sahel Crisis


STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Emergency medical aid and water treatment supplies are on the way to Niger for the millions of people suffering from the food crisis in the Sahel region. With depleted food stocks from last year’s harvest quickly running out and millions suffering from malnutrition and related health problems, AmeriCares is rushing enough medical aid to treat about 15,000 people. The delivery was made possible through the generosity of AmeriCares donors GlaxoSmithKline and P&G. The shipment includes 660 treatments of Augmentin, an antibiotic GlaxoSmithKline pre-positions in AmeriCares Amsterdam warehouse for emergencies, as well as 1.1 million P&G water purification packets (formerly known as PUR packets) – enough to provide more than 40,000 people with clean drinking water for three months. read more

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Ministers, Senior UN and International Officials call for ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ in Africa by 2030

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 22, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Adnan Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), urged all stakeholders across Africa to make commitments, as part of the Action Agenda, on how to achieve sustainable energy for all by 2030. read more

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Malawi trashes Ki-moon on gay rights

By Rebecca Chimjeka

The Malawi government has trashed remarks by the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that African leaders should respect gay rights. read more

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Ban urges African countries to entrench civil, political and economic rights


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

29 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged African countries to entrench civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to boost stability and development in the continent. read more

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Women’s education ‘smartest global investment,’ Ban tells World Economic Forum


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at event for the Every Woman, Every Child initiative. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

26 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called today on business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to increase their investment in women’s education and health to ensure their well-being and encourage their participation in the world economy. read more

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Return of UN political presence to Mogadishu ‘historic’ step, says envoy


Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) Augustine Mahiga stands at the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) headquarters in Mogadishu. UN Photo/Stuart Price

26 January 2012 – The re-establishment of the United Nations political presence in Mogadishu will allow the world body to work more closely with Somalia during a crucial period in its peace process, the UN envoy to the country said today. read more

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At Abu Dhabi forum, Ban calls for ensuring clean energy future for all

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd right) with participants at the Second Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

15 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called on participants at a forum in Abu Dhabi to help advance the goal of a clean energy future for all, stressing the advantages of renewables for communities, for economic growth and for the planet. read more

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UN chief urges Syrian President to stop killing his own people


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses high-level meeting on Reform and Transitions to Democracy in Beirut. Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

15 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today renewed his call on the Syrian leadership to end the ongoing bloodshed in the country, stating that the era of one-man rule and the perpetuation of family dynasties are crumbling. read more

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