Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/30/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

African country can reap riches from volcanic activity

Among the countries in Africa with the potential to become an economic powerhouse, Kenya's vast geothermal energy - which located near a hotbed of volcanic activity called "The Great Rift," has more than enough power to light up the entire nation, and then some.

The majority of Kenya's energy needs are currently met by hydroelectric power. Hydropower is diminished during rain shortages, leading to Kenya's regular blackouts. Photo: Geothermal Power Plant.

The majority of Kenya's energy needs are currently met by hydroelectric power. Hydropower is diminished during rain shortages, leading to Kenya's regular blackouts. Photo: Geothermal Power Plant.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/30/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Kenya, geothermal energy, KenGen, power

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Currently only 13 percent of the national grid is powered by this renewable energy. 

Near the town of Naivasha, KenGen Drilling Superintendent Isaac Kirimi declares the starkness of a nearby landscape. "This is like a live volcano! You can easily convince someone you're in hell," he said. KenGen is Kenya's leading power company.

Kirimi notes that the surrounding rocks underfoot are still soft. He's in search of a small bushy plant known as geothermal grass, which thrives in high ground temperatures.

"It is normally used by scientists to give them an indication of where there is potential for geothermal resources," Kirimi says. "A scientist is like a wild person. You are imagining things and now trying to transfer that imagination. And try to convince someone to invest in that is not very easy."

More than 30 years after KenGen built its first geothermal plant here, investment in renewable energy is booming. Aided by government support, KenGen is ramping up geothermal production.

"The cost of drilling can be prohibitive: the drilling costs, the power plant costs, and interconnecting all of these wells. Once you do that, you have nothing else to do for the next 25 years.except build another one. But we know the source is the center of the earth, so there will always be energy," Geoffrey Muchemi, a development manager at KenGen says.
The majority of Kenya's energy needs are currently met by hydroelectric power. Hydropower is diminished during rain shortages, leading to Kenya's regular blackouts.

In order to harness geothermal energy, wells are first dug more than two kilometers into the earth's surface. The steam released by the wells is monitored for several months. If the hot water and steam is found to be exploitable, they are extracted from the well. The steam travels through pipes to a power plant, where it is converted into electrical energy. The water is re-injected into the earth.

KenGen is also developing a geothermal spa near the wells. It features a large pool with mineral-rich waters, modeled after the Blue Lagoon in Iceland where many KenGen engineers studied. 

Not all Kenyans are enthusiastic about the expansion of geothermal energy. 

"The Masaai live inside the outer crater rim. In the inner crater rim, nobody lives there," Reuben Sempui of the Masaai community says. He lives on Mt. Suswa, the site of a proposed geothermal project. "So these are the manyattas [homesteads] where the Masaai live."
Sempui's community faces displacement if the project goes ahead. Members of the community are negotiating with KenGen, demanding employment opportunities and a share of the revenue generated by the well.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Africa

Homo naledi bones indicate they could both walk and swing through trees Watch

Image of Homo naledi skull (Berger et al.).


Scientists recently discovered over 1,500 bones belonging to 15 individuals, ranging from babies to the elderly Homo naledi species. This species, assigned to the genus Homo, was apparently capable of walking and swinging in trees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

Two lions experience life outside a cage for the first time in eight years Watch

Image of


After years performing in a Bulgarian circus, brothers Jora and Black got to experience a real magical moment following a 10,500-mile journey to Africa, where the lions got to experience freedom and their natural habitat for the first time.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

'MEGA-TSUNAMI': Controversial theory says boulders were hurled over 600-feet in volcanic activity Watch

Image of Researchers later published evidence suggesting a tsunami had hit Santiago long ago. Geologists then took a closer look at the boulders and other associated geological evidence at high elevations.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boulders located on the top of Santiago Island has  scientist Ricardo Ramalho, at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, that giant, mega-tsunamis in prehistoric times hurled them 900 feet in the air. The theory is an intriguing one - ... continue reading

'Discovery' of Queen Nefertiti's tomb debated by archaeologists Watch

Image of Queen Nefertiti, whose name means,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The theory offered by British archaeologist Nicolas Reeves that Queen Nefertiti's final resting place is hidden away in a chamber inside King Tut's tomb excited archaeologists worldwide last year. However, the theory is based on pure speculation. Experts point out ... continue reading

Sudanese rape camp survivors reveal the horrific reality many women face full of brutal rape and abuse (WARNING: Graphic Content) Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of Sudanese women and girls as young as 12-years-old have been abducted and repeatedly raped by several men, sometimes all at once. The women are usually held captive indefinitely in secret rape camps maintained by government soldiers or abused until they are ... continue reading

Congo's Catholic bishops criticize West over failure to stop abuse of Africa's natural resources Watch

Image of Resources are being illegally extracted from the country's Virunga and Salonga national parks, as well as from animal reserves and other areas

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Bishops of Africa's Congo has spoken out against the relentless exploitation of that nation's material wealth. The bishops are highly critical of Western governments who have failed to act, and are urging church groups to follow the Pope's call to ... continue reading

British archaeologist to begin search for Queen Nefertiti's tomb Watch

Image of Ruling across Egypt at her husband's side, Queen Nefertiti has long captured the popular imagination. Her final resting place has remained a mystery of the ages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Much mystery and speculation remains on the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, "the beautiful one." British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves has now received permission from Egyptian authorities to search Tutankhamen's tomb for the final resting place of ... continue reading

Population boom in Africa fraught with peril - and new hope, BBC says Watch

Image of Improvements in medical technology has helped many people in developing nations to live longer -- adding to population growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is an improved rate of survival in Africa with the introduction advanced medical technologies. Because of this, the population along with the continent is sure to grow. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, Africa's population will ... continue reading

All hail homo naledi - the new species of humanity discovered in South Africa Watch

Image of A new species of early human being has been confirmed with the discovery of fossilized remains in South Africa.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new species of early human being has been confirmed with the discovery of fossilized remains in South Africa. Discovered inside a cave, the Homo naledi has been assigned to the genus Homo to which modern man belongs. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

Discovery of 2.8 million-year-old fossils reveals 'Homo naledi' Watch

Image of A reconstruction of what scientists believe Homo naledi looked like (National Geographic Society).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have discovered 1,500 fossils dated 2.8 million-years-old in a subterranean chamber just outside Johannesburg South Africa in an area called the "Cradle of Humankind." LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - The fossils were originally discovered in ... continue reading

All Africa News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More