GDC to harness 100Mw from Baringo-Silali area to Boost Kenya’s Green Energy Use
The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is undertaking feasibility studies in the Baringo-Silale area with the potential to significantly increase Kenya’s green energy utilization. The project aims to generate an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2026, aligning with the government’s initiative to phase out thermal power.
Currently, GDC has successfully harnessed 75 MW of geothermal energy from the region and continues to explore further geothermal potential within the Rift Valley. Managing Director Paul Ngugi emphasized that the Baringo-Silale project will contribute to reducing electricity costs as the government gradually transitions away from expensive thermal power.
He highlighted the advantages of geothermal energy, including its reliability and environmental friendliness compared to solar and hydro power. “We are prepared to provide Kenya with more geothermal energy from Pakka Hills, which will be one of the country’s most affordable electricity sources,” Ngugi stated.
To address the growing demand for geothermal expertise and consultancy services in the region, GDC is committed to investing in specialized equipment such as rig simulators and drilling rigs. Additionally, the company is investing in human capital development to meet the region’s training needs in the geothermal sector.
Ngugi acknowledged the challenges faced by many countries in the region in developing their geothermal resources, primarily due to a lack of expertise and equipment. He addressed this issue by emphasizing GDC’s willingness to share its expertise and provide consultancy services to neighboring countries.
GDC has previously provided consultancy services to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Comoros Islands, and Rwanda, demonstrating its commitment to regional collaboration and knowledge sharing in the geothermal sector.
On a separate note, UNESCO is collaborating closely with GDC and Baringo County to establish the county as an internationally recognized geo-park site. Currently, only Morocco and Tanzania have UNESCO geo-parks in Africa. According to Mary Nyasimi, the National Programme Specialist, Natural Sciences, UNESCO Regional Office for East Africa, designating Baringo as a UNESCO geo-park would open up immense opportunities for the county, particularly in the tourism sector.
In conclusion, the GDC’s feasibility studies in the Baringo-Silale area hold immense promise for increasing Kenya’s green energy generation and reducing reliance on thermal power. The company’s commitment to regional collaboration and its willingness to share expertise are further testament to its leadership role in the development of geothermal energy across Africa.