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Geothermal bounty lurks beneath rift valley.

A BOUNTY of cheap carbon free energy is lurking beneath many developing countries in the shape of geothermal power generation, with new technology making it cheaper and easier to source than ever before. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Kenyan power company KenGen have carried out a demonstration project testing advanced seismic and drilling techniques to make geothermal power plants cheaper to build. Working in Kenya's geologically active Rift Valley, where high subterranean temperatures are close to the surface, the consortium uncovered wells of steam able to generate 4-5 MegaWatts (MW) of electricity and one yielding 8MW. The equipment's efficiency reduce a 70MW geothermal plant's construction costs by US$75 million, said UNEP. Its executive director Achim Steiner said: "Geothermal is 100 per cent indigenous, environmentally-friendly and a technology that has been under-utilised for too long". He claimed there was at least 4,000MW of geothermal-sourced electricity available along the Rift Valley, which is also part of Tanzania, Malawi and other east African countries. (NOTE--good pix available-- 553&ArticleID=6025&l=en&t=long)
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Author:Nuthall, Keith
Publication:International News
Date:Feb 1, 2009
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