The fourth African Rift Geothermal Conference came to an end on Friday the 23rd of November 2012 with the delegates proceeding to field trips of various geothermal projects. The theme of the conference held at the UN complex in Nairobi was “Geothermal: Solution to Africa’s Energy Needs”.
The conference was officially opened by Kenya’s Vice President, Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka. In his opening remarks the Vice president acknowledged the risks involved in exploration of geothermal energy and reassured the Kenyan Governments commitment to mitigate these risks. He was also apprehensive of the efforts made by UNEP towards reducing the effects of the risks. The vice President urged universities to carry out more research and geothermal studies to grow capacity in Geothermal exploration.
The Opening session was attended by among others; George Simbachawene, Tanzania’s minister of energy, Sinkinesh Ejigu, Ethiopia’s minister of mining, Simon Dujunga, Uganda’s minister of energy and Kiraitu Murungi, Kenya’s minister of Energy.
Delegates representing different countries presented progress reports of geothermal exploration in their respective countries. Kenya for instance reported contribution of 217 MW of power contribution to the National grid from the geothermal sector. Further, Kenya presented targets of 560 MW of geothermal power by the year 2016 and 5000MW by 2030 in line with vision 2030.
The three day conference was proceeded by pre-conference field trips and pre-conference trainings in Geothermal technology.
The conference was sponsored by UNEP, GAK, IGA, GDC, GWDC, ADB, KenGen, KETRACO, ERC, Tullow Oil Plc, Kenya Power, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, GEF, Schlumberger, BGR, Euei pdf, USAID, The University of Auckland, CPTDC, Iceida, Mannvit, Isor, Vatnakil, Verkis, Kuster, Phoenix Geophysics, Green Energy Group, Geothermal Development Associates, ASEP Elmar, Oserian, Gulf Geothermal, Pass Africa Limited and Geological Society of Kenya.
The African Rift Geothermal Development Facility (ARGeo) project is a GEF funded project being implemented by United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) . ARGEO was officially launched in November 2010 at the opening session of the third African Rift Geothermal Conference in Djibouti.