Kenya has moved up the global ranking to be the 8th largest geothermal power producer in the world.
The new position has been achieved after the new Olkaria V geothermal power plant kicked off its operation.
The 82.7 megawatts additional megawatts from the project has seen Kenya overtake Iceland and technology heavyweight Japan in the ranking of geothermal countries. The power plant is expected to add a total of 158MW to the grid once Unit 2 is synchronized to the grid by end of August.
In a statement released recently, KenGen’s Managing Director Rebecca Miano said, “We are delighted to announce the completion of the first unit of the Olkaria V geothermal power plant and subsequently injecting 79 megawatts to the national grid”.
While giving his sentiments of the milestone, Mrs. Miano said the Olkaria V unit brings to 612 megawatts the total amount of installed geothermal power capacity by KenGen. Geothermal power (612MW) complements other power sources such as hydro (819.9 MW), thermal (253.5 MW), and wind (25.5 MW).
Renewable energy accounts for over 70 percent of Kenya’s installed capacity, a level way above the world average of 24 percent. The country continues to lead the way on renewable energy, having been the first-ever geothermal power producer in the continent.
Kenya’s renewable energy sector employs about 10,000 people and the number continues to rise sharply.
The new ranking comes hardly two weeks since President Uhuru Kenyatta opened the largest wind farm in Africa; Lake Turkana Wind Project (LTWP). The project that is spread over 40,000 acres can generate up to 310 MW.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has estimated that Kenya’s wind energy capacity will reach 3,000 Megawatts (MW), more than double the current national demand.
Featured Image Courtesy: Askja Energy
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