Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

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08/05/2013

Lindsey Sharing Geothermal Expertise in Kenya

Source: Nate Lindsey

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GDC trainees and EAGP instructors toured several sites within Menengai caldera, where GDC is currently drilling to extract heat from this volcanic resource.
In May 2013, ESD’s Nate Lindsey travelled to Nakuru, Kenya, as an instructor with the U.S.-East Africa Geothermal Partnership (EAGP). The EAGP draws support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) in order to promote geothermal development in East Africa while bolstering the relationship between the U.S. and East African geothermal industries.

Since March 2013, LBNL has worked with the EAGP and several U.S. geothermal companies to prepare 10 one-week modules for a geothermal training curriculum, which covers the full spectrum of geothermal exploration and development activities (i.e., resource exploration, drilling, environmental policy, finance, geothermal project management, power plant design, reservoir engineering, and field operations). The curriculum is currently being implemented in Kenya at the Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC), with plans to teach the course in Ethiopia beginning in early 2014. Lindsey was one of three U.S. geothermal representatives who traveled to Kenya to teach young GDC employees during the initial module of the EAGP course (‘Introduction to Geothermal Utilization’).

 

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Another instructor, Gene Suemnicht (EGS, Inc.), discusses the geologic setting of Menengai caldera with a Kenyan expert.
“We are tailoring this course to the East African geothermal audience. The examples, case histories and conceptual models that we focus on in Kenya, for example, were chosen because they share a likeness with the challenges that the Kenyan GDC is currently tackling,” says Lindsey. “Context is key—that should be the first lesson of any geothermal course. The second is to learn from the past.” By creating an educational package that targets the needs of the East African geothermal industry, LBNL and the EAGP hope to create opportunities for the US geothermal industry to work alongside East African scientists and businesses to bring low-emission forms of electricity to Africans who do not have access to electricity.

 

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In addition to generating electricity, geothermal energy is also used directly to dry agricultural crops in Kenya.

Read more about the EAGP program here:  http://www.geo-energy.org/EastAfrica/EAGP.aspx 

Read more about the Kenya GDC here:  http://www.gdc.co.ke/

Funding Source: Work for Others (U.S. Energy Association)