Fri 16 Dec 2016, 13:42
Africa’s Energy Surge, a special series of reports on CNN (401) this week, today looks at how Kenya is harnessing geothermal as an energy source.
Tune in to the special report this Saturday 17 December on CNN.
During the report, CNN visits one of Kenya’s largest flower farms, Oserian Farm, where almost all of the farm’s power comes from its own geothermal power plants. Engineering Manager at the Oserian Development Company, Alasdair Keith, says: “Before we had the geothermal power plant we had to have a lot of back-up generators we were using a lot of diesel when we had power cuts… in terms of our electrical savings those are probably $750,000 a year as compared to before we had geothermal.”
CNN also meets Albert Mugo, KenGen Managing Director & CEO, who explains the economics behind geothermal energy: “The only thing with geothermal is that it is very capital intensive because you have to drill the wells to get the fuel the steam. But once you connect the wells to the power plant then you are ok. It's got a very small cost in terms of running.”
Mugo says there are about 23 sites on the Olkaria Field where geothermal can be developed. Currently Olkaria Field consists of four major plants and a fifth is being built, with plans to be operational by 2018.
Mugo continues: “We do not want to turn away any investor who wants to come to Kenya because there is not enough electricity. We would rather have excess which in any case will be there for a short time and the electricity consumers are probably ready to pay for that and ensure that anyone coming to set base in Kenya can be assured of getting enough electricity.”
Don't forget to catch the special Africa’s Energy Surge airing from Saturday 17 December.