The Italy-Kenya Business and Investment Forum on Geothermal took place on March 27, 2023, with the aim to boost collaboration between Italian and Kenyan businesses in the geothermal energy sector.
The forum was organized by the Italian Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, with collaboration from the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Kenya, the Geothermal Association of Kenya (GAK) and Unione Geotermica Italiana (UGI).
The event brought together key players from the Italian and Kenyan geothermal industries, and the participants engaged in discussions on investment opportunities and strategies, with a focus on advancing geothermal energy development in Kenya. Italian companies that have expertise in drilling, power plant construction, and project financing, are projected to help the Kenyan labour force.
“This Forum reflects the goals of the FIPEE project by facilitating investments, the transfer of skills and best practices, and policy dialogue to boost local markets for economic growth and energy cooperation” added UNIDO ITPO Italy’s FIPEE Project Coordinator Ms. Valentina Maltese during her speech.
Italian companies such as Enel Green Power, which is already operating a geothermal power plant in Kenya, and Terna, an energy transmission company, expressed their interest in expanding their presence in Kenya and contributing to the country’s strive for cleaner technology.
“Energy is a strategic resource for all economic activities for many countries globally including Kenya. Energy Security faces a myriad of challenges that have adversely impacted nearly all factors of production,” said State Department for Energy Principal Secretary Alex Wachira.
Furthermore, Wachira stated that the Russia and Ukraine conflict has created an unprecedented shortage of fuel and left multiple countries struggling to secure enough energy. This is bearing in mind that Kenya is already gaining momentum in geothermal energy development.
In fact, Kenya has been at the forefront of geothermal in Africa. Around 40% of the country’s electricity production comes from geothermal sources, generating an estimated 630 MW of power annually.
“As we progress into the third decade of the present millennium, it is clear that the emergence of Geothermal is now underway and it is in part as a result of the technological heavy-lifting made by oil and gas mavericks and professionals. This is a new chapter for the energy sector as this symbiosis is only starting and will only gain momentum as it gets fueled by the pressing need for decarbonization of the energy matrix,” said Jose Luis Caceres, Senior Wellsite Geologist and CEO with SustainablEarth Power.