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Tuesday, 11 October 2016 00:00

Geothermal Energy

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As of January 2016, the global geothermal market was at 13.3 GW of operating capacity. Energy experts predict that by 2021, the operating capacity will be at 18.4 GW. This can only happen if the countries around the world embrace fully this industry. Ironically, Africa has 20 GW of untapped geothermal energy. If Africa tapped this power to its full potential, the cumbersome problem of energy shortage would be completely eliminated.

East Africa undoubtedly holds the largest untapped geothermal potential. The rift valley and volcanic activity in this part of Africa contribute to this. Its potential is 15 GW. This means that East Africa alone has the ability to produce 75% of total geothermal energy produced in Africa. In September 2012, the US partnered with East Africa to make this goal easier to achieve.  The US is leading in the production of geothermal energy worldwide.

Kenya is known as the first African county to build a geothermal energy source. This power is cost effective especially in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. Currently Kenya has only 590 MW of installed geothermal capacity. Kenya aims to have 5530 MW of geothermal power by 2030. This will make Geothermal power the larger source of clean energy in the country.

Advantages of Geothermal Power.
Geothermal power is a renewable source of energy thus continued supply of power
Geothermal power is clean energy that does no harm to the environment
Geothermal power is cheap and reliable. Once the geothermal system is installed it freely available and the maintenance costs are very low.
Geothermal power also reduces dependence on fossil fuel as it is sustainable
Geothermal power does not require clearing of land or damming of rivers like the other energy sources.

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