Kenya can be reborn with geothermal energy

Thanks to geothermal energy, the African country could obtain the independence of energy

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Kenya can be reborn with geothermal energy

Kenya can be reborn with geothermal energy: thanks to this renewable source, the African country could obtain the independence of energy. Kenya is home to nearly 50 million inhabitants. According to World Bank data, at least 10 million have no direct access to electricity.

In the Rift Valley, near Nakuru, there is an important geothermal energy field, an underground well of 100% natural heat. It is contained within large masses of steam, generated by the high temperatures below the earth's crust.

The spontaneous process of generating this underground thermal energy highlights the absolute renewability of geothermal energy. In many Kenyan countries, inhabitants do not yet have access to electricity. Electricity is at the basis of the development, in fact it allows higher standards of life, from the point of view of hygiene, safety and accessibility.

In these regions, more than 25% of the population lives without this service. And only 50% have a regular supply. This unavailability depends on the morphology of the area, which makes the installation of electrical cables complicated.

In addition, Kenya needs to import fossil fuels for electricity production. Geothermal energy, taking advantage of its intrinsic renewability, could fill this gap. The construction of a 500 MW geothermal power plant, which would produce the energy necessary for Kenya with total renewal, is already a reality.

Geothermal energy could bring Kenya in the future

70 MW have already been installed in the Menengai crater region, one of the most recent volcanoes in the Rift Valley. The energy production that will come will contribute at the same time to the development of various types of industrial production.

In fact, Kenya is a producing country, which among other things is distinguished by the export of long-stemmed roses to various countries in Northern Europe. The initial investments related to a geothermal plant are high. For Kenya, the numbers touch a total of 900 million dollars.

The economic side is partly covered by various African and European incentives. In particular, the governmental association Geothermal Development Company is very active in Kenya. The challenge is also engineering. The construction can take up to three years, not to mention the preliminary exploration phase of the area.

However, geothermal energy is zero emission clean energy, which would meet Kenya's energy needs. The positive aspects would also affect industry and the economy in general, considering the possibility of selling in surplus of energy produced. In addition, the absolute renewability of the source represents a powerful weapon against climate change.