Monday, May 21, 2012

Kenya becoming a geothermal powerhouse

Kenya becoming a geothermal powerhouse

Kenya has become one of the world's leading countries in the exploration of geothermal energy. The country is now one of the world's top ten geothermal producers and plans to significantly increase output over the next five years.

The primary source of energy will be harnessed from hot steam in East Africa's Rift Valley, and could power Kenya many times over. Drilling for wells that run deep into the earth's surface in remote regions has attracted serious investment to the area.

Managing Director George Percy at Cluff Geothermal, a UK start-up, says that prospects in Kenya are promising. "The resource, by all indications, is fantastic and we certainly believe that in time, East Africa really could become a global leader in geothermal output."

This new source of energy is forecast to meet 30 percent of the country's electricity needs in the next 15 years. With a population of 38.4 million, Kenya's demand for electricity is growing. Access to energy is critical to the reduction of poverty, economic growth, industrialization and the country's agricultural development.

Kenya's geothermal production could push the African nation to a mid-economy country, pulling the nation out of an economic situation that has kept it from critical development and access to global economic development.

Follow Caryn Freeman on Twitter at @CarynFreemanDC

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