Renewable energy: DP Gachagua seeks partners for geothermal venture

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua (left), Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika, Energy CS Davis Chirchir (center) with other officials during the ground breaking ceremony of Globeleq at Menengai Geothermal site on June 8,2023. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

The government is seeking partners to develop the country's geothermal energy potential, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.

Mr Gachagua, who was speaking today during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Globeleq power plant at the Menengai Geothermal Project in Nakuru County, said the output will bolster existing renewable energy sources.

“We are implementing this project in partnership with Globeleq, with the support of the African Development Bank to a tune of $145 million,” he said, adding that the project will bring the country closer to its goal of 100 per cent transition to renewable energy.

Globeleq aims to supply 35MW of power to the national grid by 2025.

The government has licensed three independent companies to extract steam from the site's wells. Currently, green energy constitutes 87.42% of the nation's power, with geothermal contributing 45.5%.

Gachagua pointed out that the country is on track to meet the national power demand, which increases at 3.1 per cent annually.

The Kenya Kwanza administration, he added, is keen to push further in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables as part of its climate change combat strategy. "Green energy is also affordable, a factor that will significantly bring down the cost of power, especially for domestic consumers. For instance, upon completion, electricity from this power plant that we launch today will cost about 7 US cents,” he said.

Gachagua was accompanied by Governor Susan Kihika, Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, and outgoing UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott.