By Anne Sunkuyia
KenGen Geothermal Training Centre has been in the fore front in sharing its expertise in geothermal energy with other African Countries with geothermal potential. With assistance from United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP) an institution in Iceland, the Centre offers short courses where representatives from African Rift Countries meet to share the experience in geothermal technology.
Early this month, KenGen in partnership between GRÓ Geothermal Training Programme under the auspices of UNESCO, and GDC Kenya held the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Short Course V on Exploration and Development of Geothermal Resources, which aims to build a pool of specialists in geothermal resource development through capacity building for purposes of harnessing geothermal resource development. This is in line with Sustainable Development Goal Seven (SDG 7) “access to affordable, clean and reliable energy.
The official opening of the annual training programme kicked off on 21st November 2021 in Naivasha after a one-week fieldwork programme at Lake Bogoria Geothermal Prospect. The short course which is expected to take twenty-one (21) days entails a comprehensive program that brings together world-class experts to teach all elements of geothermal energy from resource discovery to utilization, including drilling and reservoir management. Learners will be taken through in-class learning, group work and study tours of geothermal projects.
This year’s training programme has attracted fifty (50) participants drawn from Africa, local universities and institutions affiliated to geothermal energy. Participants of the short course are drawn from fourteen (14) countries including Algeria, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Kenya. The diversity in culture and race provides an opportunity for the participants to learn from each other’s experiences and background even as they network with professionals in the region and globally.
The short course has steadily developed during these years, from a 10-day long lecture course in 2006 with 23 participants from the 6 ARGeo Countries as they were then – Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania – to the 3 weeklong course. The short course is supportive of Goal 7, which by 2030 aims to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services, to increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and to enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology
With this level of collaboration, KenGen Geothermal Training Centre will develop experts with considerable experience in geothermal exploration and development by building the capacity of professionals in the region that will spur development of clean sources of energy in Africa.
There is doubt that this course is a great opportunity to foster and fast-track development of geothermal power generation in Africa.
The Writer is a Senior Information Scientist at KenGen Geothermal Training Center