Friday, April 20, 2018

Kenya: Geothermal Fills the Gap as Hydropower Becomes More Intermittent

As drought saps hydropower, steam may keep Kenya boiling along (The Star, Kenya)

In February, Kenyans awoke to news that has become an annual ritual: Authorities were considering temporarily shutting down hydropower dams, the country’s largest source of electricity.

The reason was the one given each dry season for the last four years – too long without rain had left too little water in reservoirs to turn the turbines and generate power.

Kenya Power, the national electricity utility, has so far always managed to avoid a full shutdown, instead turning off just a few turbines at a time. But to make up the gap it has turned to more expensive – and polluting – diesel generators to keep the country plugged in.

Now, however, another clean source of power may help fill the gap: Geothermal power.