Geothermal power: projects for 2000 MW in Kenya

It has received offers from Western and Chinese funding, half of which is guaranteed by the State. Kenya is planning on growing significantly in geothermal energy, aiming at installing 4,000 MW by 2030. An ambitious target that nevertheless appears realistic, considering that the current installed geothermal capacity in this country amounts to 167 MW, while potential economically deployed resources are estimated in over 7,000 MW.

Silas Simiyu, managing director of the state-run company Geothermal Development Company (GDC) said that its company plans to install 200 new MW per year in the next ten years (2,000 MW by 2020), aiming at installing the same amount in the following decade. The company plans on drilling the wells and building the plants before handing them over to national or foreign companies which will manage them.

In order to develop the plan, GDC is looking for a yearly funding of 20 billion shillings (approximately 178 million euros) for the next five years (the Kenyan government has given a guarantee for the same amount). For the subsequent years, GDC hopes to raise its own funds.

Simiyu said several U.S., European, Chinese and local companies were interested in investing in the project, but he didn’t mention any details.