Kenya is currently struggling to meet demand for advanced electrical power, and is compelled to resort to emergency generation capacities at prohibitive costs. Although the country is fully dependent on import of fossil fuels, it has sufficient renewable energy resources to cover its electricity needs, particularly in the area of geothermal energy with a potential estimated at 7,000 MW. This situation offers very interesting prospects for Kenya in the production of electricity based on renewable and low-carbon resources. This project aims to develop 280 MW of geothermal power generation capacity at the Olkaria I and IV sites.
The project aimed to: install two new 70 MW turbines at the Olkaria I site; install two 70 MW turbines at the Olkaria IV site; use the existing 45 MW at Olkaria I to steam from Olkaria II site. This operation was a pilot project for the Mutual Recognition of Procedure initiative aimed at improving efficiency by pooling the resources of European financial institutions. AFD played leadership role among European donors.
The project has: added 280 MW of generating capacity in Kenya, increasing the installed base capacity by almost 15%. This helps to support the legitimate growth of the country's energy consumption: beyond economic growth, this increase in demand is also driven by the increase in connection rate, as only 30% of Kenyan households currently have access to the electricity network; enhanced national resource (geothermal heat), the cost of which is very competitive and which also has the advantage of being renewable and enabling continuous electricity production (in base); promote Kenyan growth in low carbon through the development of clean energy.
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