Status and Challenges, geothermal energy capacity building in Africa

Olkaria geothermal plant, Naivasha, Kenya (source: Lydur Skulason, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 8 Jun 2015

Training and capacity building locally is crucial for future development in Africa as described in recent WGC2015 paper.

To develop its geothermal resources and global competition for the best people, Africa has to “educate and train the very best people, then make sure that they are employed effectively in the interest of industry and of society as a whole.”, so a recent paper published and presented at the recent World Geothermal Congress.

Kenya plays a major role for the region in any efforts on capacity building. With ongoing development, government commitment and well trained workers, there has been large investment into training local personnel.

The Geothermal Training and Research Institute, founded at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology with support from GDC and KenGen was set up to train geoscientists, engineers and business leaders in a all aspects of geothermal energy production.

Challenges are though seen in the current set-up which targets employees of geothermal players such as KenGen and GDC, which cannot send their staff for long periods of time. Furthermore the necessary input from foreign experts in teaching has made the programs more expensive than initially planned.

Overall though the efforts are seen as successful and addressing a need for capacity building in Africa.

Source: Mariita, Nicholas, “Status and Challenges in Training on Geothermal Energy in Africa“, WGC2015