The Geothermal Development Company (GDC) will continue to invest in specialized equipment and human capital in a bid to meet geothermal training and consultancy needs for the African region, the Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Paul Ngugi has said.
“Most countries in the region are desirous of developing their geothermal energy. But the biggest challenge they face is lack of expertise and equipment. That’s how GDC comes in. We’re committed to invest and support the growth of geothermal in Africa,” explained Mr. Ngugi.
Mr. Ngugi made the remarks in Baringo County during the official opening of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Short Course on Geothermal Exploration. The annual training has attracted 44 participants from 13 countries.
Dr. Mary Nyasimi, the National Programme Specialist – Natural Sciences UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa emphasized geothermal is critical for energy transition and dealing with climate change.
“UNESCO’s emphasis on exploring and developing geothermal resources aligns with global initiatives aimed at reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and addressing the challenges posed by climate change,” Dr. Nyasimi noted.
To decarbonize and align with global trends on renewable energy, most African countries are seeking to exploit their geothermal resources. The countries, especially in the East Africa Rift System where geothermal is in plenty, also hope to access the global green growth funds.
The GDC has been training personnel from the region especially on geothermal scientific exploration and drilling operations. Mr. Ngugi explained that even now, GDC has invested in unique equipment such as scientific equipment, a rig simulator, and drilling rigs. He also noted that GDC’s project on Direct Use of geothermal heat at Menengai offers fresh perspectives about the future of geothermal beyond electricity generation.
Meanwhile the Baringo Governor, Mr. Benjamin Cheboi challenged GDC to ramp up its activities so that the region can also enjoy development. He also reminded GDC that power from the County should also serve the local community. GDC is targeting to start generation of 100 MW of power from its Pakka Project by end of 2026.
“We know that geothermal projects can open areas. We also want that development,” the governor said.
Mr Cheboi hailed GDC for its elaborate water system that is distributed to communities in the Baringo-Silali geothermal project. “Water has changed the face and look of Tiaty. It has boosted public health, reduced conflict, and has allowed cattle to thrive. GDC has greatly improved the social welfare of the community,” the governor told the international students at Lake Bogoria.