Kenya, Botswana seek to partner in green energy exploration
INTERNATIONAL - Kenya is keen to partner with Botswana in exploration and production of more green energy to address the rising demand for electricity, an energy official said on Wednesday.
Rebecca Miano, chief executive officer at the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), said that the power producer was ready and keen to offer Botswana expertise in various sectors of electricity production.
"So far Kengen has 310 drilled wells producing 690MW from geothermal and this will increase by an extra 165MW in the next couple of weeks," Miano said in Naivasha, about 90 km northwest of Nairobi during a tour of geothermal projects by visiting Botswana President Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi.
KenGen plans to expand into oil and mining in the near future, Miano said, noting that the company had considerable wealth of experience and expertise in renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind and geothermal power.
She said the visit by the Botswana president coincided with the firm's long-term strategy which included the development of regional partnerships. She said Kenya is Africa's number one geothermal energy producer and is among the top 10 in the world.
Currently this potential is being harnessed in Olkaria, Menengai and Eburru fields. Currently, 70 percent of Kenya's installed electricity is derived from renewable sources, which is more than three times the global average.
Speaking during the visit, President Masisi praised KenGen for the contribution it had made towards securing Kenya's energy.
He pointed out that geothermal, being one of the sources of renewable energy, was the best option at a time when the world was grappling with the effects of climate change.
"This is an eye opener for many countries in the region and we should do away with the current competition along borders and seek a common regulator for electricity," he said.
The Botswana president added that his country was keen to learn and corroborate with Kenya in electricity production and supply as currently the former was yet to achieve its power demand.
According to him, Botswana relied on solar power, adding that 62 percent of residents in the Southern Africa country were connected to electricity. "Botswana has very high potential of solar energy and we are keen to work with Kenya in exploration of more green energy," he said.