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|| The role of geothermal and coal in Kenya’s electricity sector and implications for sustainable development
|| New Climate Institute under the Ambition to Action project
|| Lukas Kahlen, Marie-Jeanne Kurdziel, Thomas Day, Tessa Schiefer
| Published in:
|| November 2019
|| Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with high anticipated economic growth rates and ambitious flagship infrastructure projects. However, recent electricity demand forecasts were considerably decreased. Accordingly, it is key that capacity planning for electricity generation is carried out so that electricity supply matches demand. At the same time, sustainable development-related objectives and environmental targets need to be achieved.
This study aims at supporting decision making in the electricity sector by comparing the two main power generation technologies that are considered baseload electricity supply options in Kenya, namely geothermal and coal, and the impact of developing these technologies on generation costs, affordability of electricity, and overall flexibility and reliability of electricity supply. In addition, the report quantifies the impact that geothermal and coal-based power generation has on employment creation, health and climate change.
A direct technology comparison reveals that geothermal power generation creates three times more domestic employment per MW of new capacity than coal-based power generation, while being also more cost-effective when comparing number of jobs per unit of investment. A quantitative analysis of the health impacts shows that until 2065, roughly 1,650 Kenyans would have died prematurely from the associated air pollution if the planned coal plants were to be built. In addition, almost 3 MtCO2e could be saved annually by 2037, if coal were replaced with low-carbon alternatives such as geothermal.
|| link to the document |