Kenya has received funding approval for projects tapping into geothermal resources in the Rift Valley.
A $29.65m loan has been been approved by the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to help increase the country’s power capacity.
The program will support up to two private-sector led geothermal generation projects.
The programme builds on similar energy projects already underway, including the development of the country’s Menengai Geothermal Field, which is being created to produce enough steam for 400 megawatts (MW) of power.
The geothermal energy sector is a key part of Kenya’s economic growth plan to cope with an expanding and increasingly urban population, and geothermal was cited as a key technology in the country’s “Vision 2030” development programme.
The country’s projected installed energy capacity is estimated to triple by 2020 from 2,177 MW to 6,766 MW, with geothermal contributing around 2,000 MW.
“Kenya is already demonstrating its ability to reshape its energy future by developing its vast geothermal resources through Menengai,” said Joao Duarte Cunha, coordinator for CTF at the African Development Bank, whose support will help implement the new projects.
“But it still faces market barriers to full deployment of its renewables. This infusion of capital will thus serve to build investor confidence and improve bankability of these vital resources.”
The Climate Investment Funds, established in 2008, provide developing countries with grants, concessional loans and support to access private sector investment.