Power Africa highlights its geothermal activities and commitment in new Annual Report

Olkaria III plant by Ormat (source: video screenshot)
Alexander Richter 25 Aug 2017

Power Africa, the ambitious U.S. program to help sub-Saharan Africa to increase its installed power generation capacity by 30,000 MW, is also supporting geothermal energy deployment in Kenya and Ethiopia. Details have been shared in the recently released Power Africa Annual Report 2017.

In June 2013, Power Africa launched with the goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing installed generation capacity by 30,000 MW) while adding 60 million new household and business connections by 2030. In February 2016, the U.S. Congress passed the Electrify Africa Act of 2015, which charges Power Africa with increasing installed generation capacity by 20,000 MW, while adding first-time energy access for 50 million beneficiaries by 2020 — an effort that directly supports and complements Power Africa’s original goal.

In its Annual Report for 2017, Power Africa reports on its work for the past year. For geothermal Power Africa contributed to one transaction for Olkaria V project by KenGen in Kenya.

The report highlights how Power Africa provides critical support to small and medium-sized U.S. companies that are new to the African market. As an example, Langson Energy is named. The Nevada-based company has developed specialized equipment using pressure in natural gas, wet steam, dry ste and geothermal fluids and converting it into power. We reported on this earlier this month.

Power Africa supports geothermal development in  East Africa with a number of initiatives. The geothermal potential for the East Africa region exceeds 15,000 MW and represents a $40 billion  investment opportunity.

Power Africa is supporting a more than 1,200 MW of potential generation capacity, and pipeline of more than 20 geothermal energy projects represent of potential generation capacity, and approximately $9 billion in investments.

Kenya’s geothermal market

The United States is a world leader in the geothermal industry, with more than 100 companies active in the sector. Power Africa’s East Africa Geothermal Partnership via the U.S. Energy Association (USEA) has more than quadrupled the number of U.S. companies active in East Africa’s geothermal sector.

As the eighth largest producer of geothermal energy in the world, Kenya is a key target area. Power Africa supporting 15 geothermal projects that total more than 1,000 megawatts of potential generation capacity, and represent a combined estimated gvalue of approximately $3.6 billion.

Ethiopia’s geothermal market

Ethiopia holds the potential to generate up to 10,000 MW of power from its geothermal resources. Power Africa is supporting five geothermal projects in Ethiopia that total more than 1,200 MW of potential generation capacity, and represent a combined estimated value of more than $5 billion.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Power Africa has partnered with the Government of Japan to coordinate the development of power projects across sub-Saharan Africa — with a focus on the geothermal deals in East Africa. Japan’s $408 million financing agreement with the Government of Kenya was critical to the advancement of the 158 MW Olkaria V Geothermal Plant (tender was for 140 MW, which was increased to 158 MW at time of the award) that broke ground in April 2017 and is expected to connect to the national grid in 2019.

Download the report here

Source: USAID Power Africa Website