The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) is a 100% state-owned company, formed by the Government of Kenya as a Special Purpose Vehicle to fast track the development of geothermal resources in the country.
Geothermal energy is an indigenous, abundant, reliable and environmentally- friendly source of electricity.
The creation of GDC was based on the government’s policy on energy - Sessional paper No. 4 of 2004, and the energy Act No.12 of 2006 - which un-bundled the key players in the electricity sector to ensure efficiency.
The search for geothermal energy is not new in Kenya. It started in 1957. But this has so far yielded 209MW only against a massive potential estimated at 7000MW to 10,000MW. Evidently, the speed of harnessing geothermal resources has been too low necessitating the creation of GDC.
Kenya’s GDP is expected to grow by at least 10% from 2012. In Vision 2030, Kenya aspires to become a mid-income economy. To attain Vision 2030, the government’s forecast is to generate 15,000 MW, 5000MW will come from geothermal. Today, the total effective installed capacity stands at 1533 MW.
For a long time, Kenya has relied on hydroelectricity with perennial power outages forcing the government to invite emergency power producers who use diesel to generate electricity. This stop-gap measure is a two edged sword. First, it increases the cost of electricity and second, it causes massive pollution.
The government has identified the country's untapped geothermal potential as the most suitable indigenous source of electricity. GDC will drill 1400 steam wells to provide steam for the generation of 5,000MW of geothermal power by 2030.
- To promote rapid development of geothermal resources in Kenya through surface exploration and drilling for steam.
- To avail steam to power plant developers for electricity generation.
- To manage the geothermal reservoirs- to ensure constant supply of steam for power generation
- To promote alternative uses of geothermal resources other than electricity generation. These include green house heating, drying of grains, pasteurizing milk, cooling and heating of rooms, among others.