Geothermal Funding Group Pre-qualifies $65M for East Africa Projects

The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) for East Africa recently said it has pre-qualified developers for $65 million in funding of 14 geothermal projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Comoros.

Of the 14 projects, seven are surface studies and seven are drilling programs. Five of the projects are located in Kenya, which currently has the largest share of installed geothermal capacity in Africa at 579 MW, according to the report Africa 2030: Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Future. The report, which was released by the International Renewable Energy Agency on Oct. 5., said that Africa currently has a total of 606 MW of installed capacity, and the total potential geothermal capacity in Africa is estimated to be 15 GW. The country’s geothermal potential is primarily located in East Africa along the Rift Valley.

The GRMF is a cooperative funding program for East Africa that was formed by the African Union Commission (AUC), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. Total funding for the program currently is 115 million euros ($125.9 million).

In early October, the AUC and the government of New Zealand signed an agreement on geothermal drilling regulation for deep wells in East Africa.

According to an Oct. 9 AUC statement, the agreement will support the development by the AUC of a geothermal drilling code based on New Zealand standards for use by African Union member states.

“The new African Union Commission Code of Practice will help to ensure increased professionalism and safety for deep geothermal well drilling starting with the Eastern African countries and will help countries make the most of their vast geothermal potential,” AUC Commissioner Elham Ibrahim said in the statement.

Lead image: Amboseli, Kenya. Credit: Shutterstock.

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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