Germany has committed to provide both funding and technical support for the planned capacity expansion of the Olkaria geothermal site in Kenya. The pronouncement came at the conclusion of the three-day trip of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Africa, where he visited Ethiopia and Kenya.
An important part of the trip of Chancellor Scholz was the visit to the Olkaria geothermal field operated by KenGen in Kenya. During the visit to Olkaria, Scholz also expressed support for a wider use of geothermal energy in Germany, both for heating and electricity generation. “Geothermal energy is possible in far more places in Germany than many people think today.”
To support geothermal development efforts, Scholz said that geodata and information are not being collected to foster a “growing courage” to exploit these energy sources.
The capacity expansion plans of Olkaria, as announced in late 2022, will come by way of uprating of the turbines of Olkaria I and IV geothermal power plants. A few months ago, KenGen received KES 6 billion (approx. USD 46.6 million) in fundingfrom the EU for the project.
The announcement of support was announced at a media briefing following bilateral talks between Chancellor Scholz and Kenyan President William Ruto. The two national leaders also discussed the export of skilled Kenyans to Germany and a review of the tariff rates of products from Kenya entering Germany and the rest of the European market.