Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/30/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/30/2013 (1 year 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

Triumph in the midst of chaos: Survivors of Ebola in Liberia Ebola now viewed as part of cure Watch

Image of A supply of a new serum may not meet demand. Extreme care must be taken to avoid infecting Ebola victims with other diseases such as HIV or hepatitis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once shunned and feared, Ebola survivors in Liberia are now seen as an important part of the fight against the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa. Once rejected by their communities, survivors are now coveted for the antibodies ... continue reading


Tunisian police fighting terrorist group Ansar Charia claims life of officer Watch

Image of Security forces have seen heavy losses during violent incidents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Street battles continue to rage between Tunisian police and the terrorist group Ansar Charia. There has been an increase in violence between armed forces and Islamic armed groups ever since the toppling of President Benali. These ongoing clashes have now ... continue reading


Islamists abduct 25 Nigerian girls after ceasefire Watch

Image of Nigerians protest the ongoing abduction of girls by the Islamic Boko Haram terrorist group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, has abducted another 25 girls from a remote town in the country's northeast, despite ongoing talks between the group and the government over securing the release of over 200 other hostages the group had seized back in ... continue reading


At least ten people injured in Cairo explosion Watch

Image of The attack targeted security forces, which are frequently in large numbers in front of schools.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

At least ten people, including six policemen were injured at an explosion in front of Egypt's Cairo University this week. Unrest continue to roil in this North African nation, where intensively trained terrorist groups from neighboring Libya have worked to ... continue reading


From the infected could come life! Blood from recovered Ebola patients could hold key to stopping outbreak Watch

Image of A potential serum from the blood of infected and recovered Ebola patients could provide the key to halting the ongoing outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new tool in the fight against Ebola could come from those who have been infected with the disease and lived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The World Health Organization (WHO) says that serums made from blood of recovered Ebola patients may be available within ... continue reading


New documentary reveals King Tut had a club foot and other startling discoveries Watch

Image of More than 100 walking sticks were found inside his tomb. While historians originally thought they represented his power, it's now more likely that Tut used them to get around.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

King Tutankhamun, or as he is more commonly know, "King Tut" was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled over much of the civilized world until his untimely death at the age of 19 years of age. Researchers in a new British television documentary have conducted a ... continue reading


Programs help young women in Kenya flee prostitution Watch

Image of Poverty forces many young women in Kenya into lives of prostitution.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The alcohol lining the 12-year-old Kenyan girl's stomach did nothing to quell her hunger pangs. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - So when one of her mother's drunken customers, in the one-room drinking den that doubles as their home in Nairobi, offered her a ... continue reading


Algerian-Libyan border under lockdown due to deteriorating situation in Benghazi Watch

Image of Algeria has since taken serious measures to reinforce the country's security.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The deteriorating situation in Libya - in particular in the eastern city of Benghazi, has the Algerian people calling for more protection along the borders it shares with that nation. The Algerian government has decided to deploy important methods to enhance ... continue reading


Fierce fighting rages in Benghazi amid political instability Watch

Image of Analysts say the recent surge in violence in Libya could jeopardize dialogue initiated in late September by the United Nations, in order to stop the violence and institutional anarchy in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fierce fighting between troops loyal to the retired general, Khalifa Haftar and those loyal to Ansar Charia continues to rage on in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. The city has been one of the most troubled areas of this North African oil rich country. The ... continue reading


Liberian bishop reminds world that the poor must not be forgotten during Ebola crisis Watch

Image of Alluding to Pope Francis's repeated emphasis on mercy and service to the poor, Bishop Borwah said that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga in Liberia says that the world that "it is the poor who are the Church's priority." Ebola, which has ravaged this West African nation is chiefly concentrated among those living in poverty. "Whole families are being ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter