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Geothermal Energy in Kenya

Location of geothermal areas within the Kenyan Rift Valley (Modified from Geothermal conference-2004)

Kenya is endowed with geothermal resources mainly located in the Rift Valley. Electricity demand in Kenya has continued to grow steadily over the years and has caused great pressure on the conventional sources of energy like hydropower, which is normally affected by weather changes. It is estimated conservatively that the Kenya Rift has a potential of greater 2000 MWe of Geothermal Power.

A total of twenty sites have been earmarked for further investigation. Exploration first started by drilling two wells in 1956 in Olkaria I and was followed by increased interest in the 1970s. Initial production started in 1981 when the first plant of 15MW was commissioned in Olkaria I currently 45MWe is generated by Olkaria I geothermal power station; 70 MWe is produced from Olkaria II (both operated by KenGen) and an IPP is producing 12Mwe at Olkaria III. KenGen and the IPP produce a total of 129 MWe of geothermal energy and this is expected to increase to 576MWe within the next 20 years.

The main problem hindering Geothermal Power development is one of high tariffs. The Government needs to raise funds both internally and through donor support in order to undertake geothermal resource assessment. For tariffs to be low the government needs to undertake exploration, including steam field development.

Map showing location of Olkaria I, II and III (Source Geothermal Conference-2004)


Geothermal Prospects Kenya

Geothermal Fields within the Greater Olkaria Geothermal Area
Kenya's Geothermal Prospects and Grid



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Related GENI Resources
Definition Geothermal Energy
Current Articles on Renewable Energy Resources and Transmission

National Energy Grid Maps

AFREC (African Energy Commission)
AFREPREN/ FWD - Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa
WEC - Energy Geography of Africa
African Development Bank Group (ADFB)