Kenya has inaugurated Africa’s biggest geothermal power project in a bid to meet its growing need for electricity and lower its consumption of nonrenewable energy.
The 280 megawatt (MW) Olkaria Geothermal Project was commissioned by Kenya’s president, Mwai Kibaki, in July. It is being built at a cost of 82.5 billion Kenyan shillings ($980 million) and is due for completion in June 2014.
Experts say that it should be an important source of “green” energy in a country that has seen its hydropower production hit by worsening drought.
The project “will be an effective source for power for Kenya in the sense that it will help the country manage its competitiveness in the region and in global markets, especially for agro-based industries that for many years have suffered from costly, inefficient and unreliable power,” said Chris Ackello Ogutu, an agricultural economist at the University of Nairobi.
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