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--