A new study presented to World Bank by KenGen has revealed that Kenya is the eighth largest geothermal energy producer in the world; this is after the completion of the additional 280MW to the national grid in Olkaria.
The energy production has so far come with several benefits to Kenyans as it has contributed to lowering the cost of doing business by displacing thermal power and has added to Kenya’s green energy initiatives.
Kenya’s steam power capacity now stands at 579MW, eighth behind US which ranks top with installed capacity of 3,389MW, followed by Philippines (1,894MW), Indonesia (1,333MW), Mexico (980MW) and Italy with 901MW of steam power. New Zealand and Iceland rank better than Kenya each with 895MW and 664MW respectively.
Electricity costs have also gone down to Sh2.51 per kWh in February, from a high of Sh7.22 per unit recorded August last year, all being as a result of the Olkaria geothermal power generation project.
The US$1.3bn Olkaria project entails of four power plants each generating 70MW, and is Africa’s largest steam development. Ministry of Energy has shown through studies that Kenya can generate 10,000MW from the Rift Valley basin.
Super power countries like Japan has 537MW of geothermal, Russia (97MW), China (27MW), France (15MW) while Germany has only 13MW.