JKUAT Hosts International Training on Geothermal Technology

Prof. Kinyua delivers Vice Chancellor’s remarks

A five-day international training workshop aimed at building capacity for exploration and utilization of geothermal resources for sustainable development is underway at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

The training provides a platform for stakeholders in the sector to share knowledge on the latest research findings while also exchanging information and experiences that would help in shaping up policy framework for the geothermal industry.

JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi reiterated the University’s desire to carry out extensive research and training on the assessment of the full potential of geothermal energy in Kenya and innovate appropriate technologies to optimize the exploitation of the resource.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua during the opening ceremony Friday, March 25, 2023, the Vice Chancellor stated that one of the critical areas of research focus for JKUAT is renewable energy, which is a key driver of sustainable development.

In a bid to meet the high demand for skilled and trained manpower in the geothermal energy, Prof. Ngumi called for concerted efforts among the training institutions and industry.

Training participants follow proceedings

“I challenge researchers and experts here to note the high expectations and seize this opportunity to seek solutions to the myriad problems facing the geothermal sector. The key challenges include harnessing the full geothermal potential of Kenya and the region, insufficient funding and technical expertise that often constrain expansion of infrastructure in developing countries,” said Prof. Ngumi.

On his part, Prof. Yasuhiro Fujimitsu of Kyushu University lauded JKUAT for exploring partnership with Japanese Universities in training and research. The partnership, he noted, had enabled JKUAT students to further their studies at Phd and Master degree levels in Japanese universities like Kyushu.

A participant makes a contribution during the question and answer session

Prof. Fujimitsu who was accompanied by other researchers from Japan gave an in-depth lecture on hydrothermal systems and geothermal development in Kenya.

The Principal College of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu decried the lag in geothermal energy in Kenya which he said the conference sought to address.

“As a country we have not really explored geothermal energy beyond power production but this is our chance as researchers to explore more areas and follow in the footsteps of Japan for the benefit of Kenya,” said Prof. Ndiritu

The conference was organized by JKUAT in collaboration with Kyushu University (Japan), KenGen, Geothermal Development Company (GDC), and the University of Nairobi (UoN); with the support of JICA.

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