Kenya could foster its bid to be a top investment destination in Africa by investing in the renewable energy. Currently accounting for the country’s one third of the installed energy capacity, the renewables, mainly geothermal and wind, have enabled the country to stabilize its power supply in the wake of biting drought in the recent months.
KenGen CEO, Rebecca Miano said the diversification into renewables had seen Kenya emerge as the top producer of geothermal energy in Africa and seventh in the world.
The CEO, through a speech delivered by KenGen’s Assistant Manager in Charge of Resource Management, Cyrus Karingithi, said geothermal energy had a number of advantages including stability against weather variations and high yielding value.
The address was delivered at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Wednesday, during the opening of an international forum for geothermal technology.
The forum brought together participants from JICA Kenya Office, Kyushu University, Japan; KenGen, Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC), Kenyatta University and JKUAT.
JICA’s Special Advisor, Miyata Chiyoko said the agency remained committed to support Kenya’s efforts to harness geothermal energy for industrialization.
She mentioned the Bright Project which JICA has funded at JKUAT to promote research and innovation in wind and solar energy; and the Japan’s support for the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) as tangible contributions to Africa’s development agenda.
GDC CEO, Johnson Nchoe informed the forum that Kenya was endowed with high temperature geothermal resources estimated at 10,000 megawatts; and that the company was increasing its research and innovation capacity towards exploitation of the renewables.
While welcoming the participants to JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said the University was undertaking a number of research activities on renewables spanning geothermal, hydro, wind, solar, and biomass.
By hosting the forum, Prof. Imbuga said, JKUAT was spearheading a multi-institutional approach needed for national capacity building to sustainably tap geothermal resources.
The Vice Chancellor was represented at the event by the DVC Academic Affairs, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo,
The forum will be followed by a three-day training on the latest technological solutions to geothermal exploration and development.