Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Geothermal energy is way ahead for Africa says UN environment conference

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY could meet the electricity needs of millions of people in eastern Africa, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

At a UNEP conference in Nairobi, energy experts, engineers, scientists and members of the private sector 'set a challenging yet achievable target' to develop 1,000MW of geothermal generated electricity across eastern Africa by 2020.

According to UNEP, Africa has up to 7,000MW of untapped geothermal resources.

Geothermal energy, in which steam produced by hot rocks deep in the Earth is used to generate electricity, is a highly promising form of renewable energy, it say s.

'But until now its potential in the Eastern African Rift Valley region has remained largely untapped.' Geothermal energy is clean, it adds, and, unlike hydro-electricity, it is not vulnerable to droughts. Nor is it prone to unpredictable price fluctuations.

Kenya, which pioneered geothermal energy in the region, generates 45MW of geothermal electricity a year.

The aim of the conference was to overcome some of the technological and financial hurdles that have held back geothermal development.

It was attended by representatives from the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Delegates pledged to share expertise and initiatives to reduce development costs and to promote public/private partnerships to accelerate geothermal development in the region.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.