LEAP-RE program aims to bring geothermal to off-grid African communities
The Geothermal Village program under the LEAP-RE partnership aims to bring standalone geothermal systems to off-grid communities like Homa Hills in Kenya.
The Long-Term Joint European Union – African Union Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE) seeks to create a partnership between African and European stakeholders to develop and improve renewable energies and establish “environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient economies and communities.”
Under Pillar 2 (International Consortium Research and Innovation Projects and Capacity Building Activities) of LEAP-RE is the “Geothermal Village” program. This programs aims put up geothermal-based standalone electric and thermal energy systems to off-grid African communities. Four African countries are participating in the project – Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Rwanda.
The program proposes the implementation of a cascading geothermal system where electricity is produced from hot geothermal fluids, and thermal energy is harnessed down the stream for a large variety of applications.
In April 2022, two missions were carried out by project partners in Homa Hills in western Kenya, one of the selected sites for the project. The visit consisted of sampling of geothermal waters, gases, and rocks. Subsurface imaging was also done around the geothermal springs. There will also be a social visit to Homa Hills to understand the local demand in terms of energy.