Geothermal capacity in Kenya is among the largest in the world according to Renewable Global Status report.
The report sated that Geothermal currently accounts for over a quarter of the country’s total power capacity of 2,333MW. It further explains that the amount of geothermal energy produced in Kenya and that is already on the national grid totals up to 600 megawatts (MW) as of 2015.
In recent years, the Kenyan Government has been renewing interest in geothermal energy with intentions of reducing the country’s use of expensive electricity from diesel generators which hence boosts the nation’s competitiveness.
In 2014, approximately 280MW of steam power was fed to the national grid from the Olkaria fields in Naivasha and it really helped to cut the share of thermal power, easing power bills by about 30 per cent. Olkaria is active in geothermal power generation and is being used to produce growing quantities of clean electrical power in Kenya.
Kenya has an untapped potential of 10,000MW of steam energy in the Rift Valley region where a series of exploration works are going on and it is ranked as the eighth largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world after Turkey, United States and Mexico.
Last year, Turkey set up the largest geothermal capacity of 159MW while United States set up 71MW, Mexico 53MW and Kenya 20MW. At fifth position, we have Japan which produced 7MW of steam energy to its power matrix while Germany was sixth with 6MW.
According to the country’s utility producer; Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), geothermal power now accounts for a whopping 51 per cent of the installed power capacity displacing hydropower as the initial top energy source.