Germany announces commitment to Kenya’s transition to renewable energy

Germany has announced its commitment to providing financial and technical support to Kenya in its efforts to achieve 100% transition to renewable energy by 2030.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Kenya for its leadership and investments in geothermal energy, which will contribute to the country’s climate change adaptation plans. During his visit to the Olkaria geothermal wells in Naivasha, Chancellor Scholz stated that Germany would continue to offer financial support to upgrade the old turbines in Olkaria, maximizing their potential.

Additionally, Germany will assist Kenya in establishing a green hydrogen economy, which can be used in fertilizer production to enhance the country’s food security strategy. Geothermal power generation is a valuable source of hydrogen, a crucial component in fertilizer production. Chancellor Scholz’s visit follows President William Ruto’s recent visit to Germany, where both countries agreed to strengthen cooperation on green hydrogen and improve the business environment to attract German investors to Kenya.

Impacts of climate change

The leaders expressed their concerns about the impacts of climate change on livelihoods, communities, and nations, emphasizing the need for urgent efforts to mitigate and reverse these effects. Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Mr. Davis Chirchir highlighted that Kenya currently produces 92% of its energy from green renewable sources and aims to retire thermal (fossil) energy by 2030, achieving 100% renewable energy by that time.

The Cabinet Secretary praised Germany’s support for Kenya’s energy sector, stating that Germany is the largest investor in green renewable energy in the country. Notably, the German government provided funding for the Silali geothermal project in Baringo County, which has developed five wells producing 45 MW of power. Additionally, Germany previously extended a loan facility of US $50M to Kenya for the expansion of the Olkaria geothermal power station in Naivasha.

Chirchir emphasized the benefits of geothermal energy, highlighting its sustainability compared to other renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, and solar, which can be affected by climate change. Geothermal power played a crucial role in stabilizing Kenya’s power supply during a severe drought, offsetting the reduced hydroelectric power production. Currently, Kenya produces a total of 1,100 MW of geothermal power, with an additional 450 MW awaiting integration into the national grid, including 160 MW from a concessioner.

“Geothermal energy is non-exhaustible unlike other forms of renewable energy like hydro, wind and solar which are affected by climate change. We shall walk the journey together to harness our potential of nine Gigawatts (GW) which translates to 9,000MW of geo-thermal power which has already been mapped out since our country sits on the ring of fire and from this we can 

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