Geothermal development in Eastern Africa: recommendations for power and direct use

The countries of the East African Rift region hold significant geothermal potential, giving them valuable options for sustainable electricity production and direct use. Harnessing these resources can provide a renewable, affordable and stable energy supply. It can also help countries to fulfil the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement. Despite the region’s economic challenges, plants in Ethiopia and Kenya have attained geothermal power generation capacity of about 900 megawatts-electric (MWe). Exploration drilling confirms untapped resources at both deep and shallow levels across the region. This report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – drawing on lessons from the Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia – offers recommendations to create enabling conditions and fast-track regional geothermal energy development.