By Macharia Kamau

Geothermal Development Company is looking to generate revenue from its planned geothermal project in Menengai by selling carbon credits.

The company yesterday said it is working on modalities of registering the Menengai Geothermal Project under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, which is under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“As part of the Government’s efforts to promote clean and renewable energy, GDC is seeking registration and development of the Menengai Geothermal Project under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” said GDC in a statement yesterday.

Successful registration of the proposed 400 megawatts project could prove a significant revenue stream for the state-funded GDC. It is following in the footsteps of companies like Mumias Sugar, KenGen and Kenya Power that are already pursuing sale of carbon credits accrued from green projects that they have implemented.

“The overall objective is to contribute to national sustainable development and increased electricity generation towards attainment of Vision 2030.”

Under the Kyoto Protocol, heavy polluters that exceed their emission levels can buy credits from companies implementing projects that help in absorption of harmful gases from the environment.

The degree of pollution is measured by the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a company emits. Geothermal electricity generating projects are among those that seen as green, in that they do not harmful gases into the environment.

Discuss issue

GDC is in process of developing electricity generation plants at the Menengai fields that are expected to generate 400 megawatts by 2015.

But the company is still in the early stages of pursuing the carbon credits money and has organised a stakeholders meeting December 28 in Nakuru to discuss the issue further.

Mumias Sugar is already selling carbon credits accruing from its project that generates electricity from cane waste. The Mumias plant generates power for its internal use and sells the surplus to Kenya Power.

Kenya Power also sold credits earned from distribution of energy saving bulbs in the country. The low electricity consuming bulbs are estimated to be saving Kenya 50mw of electricity.

KenGen expects to start earning in excess of Sh1 billion annually from credits earned from the different geothermal and hydropower generating projects.

carbon company geothermal