KENYA SET FOR MORE ‘GREEN’ ENERGY
Geothermal energy sources are already in use in Kenya through the existing geothermal power station in the Rift Valley near Mt. Longonot, but the lastest results of test drilling near the Menengai Crater not far from the town of Nakuru are yet more promising. The ‘Menengai field’ as experts call it is thought to have the capacity to generate as much as 1.600 MW of power and the first successful drill, some 900 metres deep, and shallower than in other places hence reducing the cost of such projects, will by mid 2012 produce an initial 8 MW while other sites nearby are being prepared for production.
Kenya has in recent years suffered of droughts seriously effecting the capacity of hydro power generation as dams were drying up while at the same time demand for electricity rose sharply. This caused the increased use of thermal power generation units, which use heavy fuel oil and diesel and are both expensive and environmentally unfriendly.
As the country, renown worldwide for its outstanding safari parks, works on reducing its carbon foot print, wind energy projects are advancing across the country. Near Nairobi, on the Ngong Hills, an existing wind power farm is being expanded and two projects in Northern Kenya, one of them in Turkana, have secured financing and are advancing on schedule, bringing on completion a further combined output of 650 MW into the national grid.
Going green to stay green, way to go Kenya.