Canadian Consulting Engineer

Hot rocks hold out energy hope for eastern Africa

The United Nations Environment Program has unveiled a new plan to use the steam produced by hot rocks buried within...

April 17, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The United Nations Environment Program has unveiled a new plan to use the steam produced by hot rocks buried within the earth to generate electricity in eastern Africa.
The UNEP energy experts, who included scientists and private sector representatives, drew up the geothermal plan to dramatically increase the levels of electricity generated from hot rocks during the Eastern Africa Geothermal Energy meeting held last week in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Geothermal power has proven reliable. Kenya has used geothermal energy for power generation for 22 years at greater than 97 per cent availability,” stated a final declaration produced by delegates at the meeting. Kenya, the pioneer of geothermal energy in the region, already generates 45 megawatts of electricity from hot rocks according to the UNEP.
The delegates set a target to develop 1,000 megawatts of geothermal energy across eastern Africa by 2020.
The UNEP, the Global Environment Facility and the Kenya Electricity Generating Company are hoping overcome some of the technological and financial hurdles that have held back geothermal development in the region.


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