Gallery: Kenya to Tap Lava Power With Toshiba-Built Geothermal Energy P...


Kenya already gets half of their energy from hydropower, but with drought looming, the country is ramping up their geothermal energy production with a fourth geothermal power plant that captures energy from lava deep below the earth’s surface. Toshiba has been contracted to provide the majority of the equipment needed for the Japanese-funded plant, which will be constructed and online by April 2014. Once the plant is up and running, one quarter of Kenya’s power will be supplied by sustainable geothermal sources.

Kenya’s three current geothermal power plants are located in the Olkaria volcanic region north of Nairobi. They currently supply 10% of the country’s power supply. In addition to building the new plant — which will be called Olkaria IV — the Toshiba equipment will up the power output of the current plants, bringing them all respectively to 70,000 kW of power production. With Kenya’s many volcanoes the country has a vast energy source laying in the bedrock beneath it — the country has decided to use that resource smartly to reduce its reliance on fuel.

In Kenya it has been common for droughts to occur in five or ten year cycles, but in recent years the droughts have been happening in two year cycles. The lack of water has caused massive food and water shortages, and a full half of the population is living on one meal a day. The government believes that building up Kenya’s geothermal power supply will help stabilize the country’s unreliable hydropower supply that is currently wavering the wake of a drought. Humanitarian relief from around the world is currently trickling into Kenya to help feed its population, unfortunately power relief doesn’t come so quickly and will have to wait over two years to come online.

Via Clean Technica


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  1. nkirote January 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Please remember to do Archaeological Impact Assessment before any major project. Lets save what we can to recreate our history and our beginnings! Kenya is reputed as cradle for humankind and care should be exercised to avoid destruction of fossils which are found in both expected and unexpected places.

  2. enyd March 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

    The United Nations Environment Programme is commemorating 40 years anniversary since its formation in 1972 in Stockholm. We are producing three sets of stamps to mark this anniversary. Each set comprises three stamps all of which are to be used in Kenya. One of these sets features sustainable development in Kenya. We would like one of the stamps in this set to feature Olkaria Geothermal Power Station.

    We are kindly requesting you to send us the three featured photographs from which we can choose one to use. We are also requesting permission from you to allow us to feature the selected image on the stamp.

    We appreciate your assistance and regret the short notice as we are hoping to finalize our designs soon.

    Thank you and Best Regards,

    Enid Ngaira
    Graphic Artist
    UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information
    P O Box 30552, Nairobi, KENYA
    Tel: 254 20 7623940
    web page:

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