SDG Short Course IV on Geothermal Exploration and Development held in Kenya

18 December 2019
Participants and organisers at the course
Participants and organisers at the course

SDG Short Course IV on Geothermal Exploration and Development was held in Kenya during November 13 – December 3.  This is the fourth training in the series of Short Courses that are dedicated to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  In particular, the aim is to support Goal 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, and Goal 13 to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.  In addition, the course is supportive of several other SDGs. The course was organized by UNU-GTP and KenGen.

The first week of the Short Course was devoted to fieldwork in the surroundings of Lake Bogoria in the Rift Valley.  Then the course was moved to Lake Naivasha where the participants attended lectures on geoscientific exploration, environmental aspects of geothermal development, drilling, reservoir engineering, utilization, project management and financial considerations.  The lectures were also complemented by field trips to the nearby Olkaria geothermal fields, laboratories, power plants and other destinations of interest to students of geothermal development.  Three and a half days were committed to project work, where the participants were presented with data from both high and low temperature geothermal fields, with the objective of constructing simple conceptual models and siting wells.

This year, there were 38 participants from 13 countries who took part: Burundi (1), Comoros (2), Djibouti (2), Eritrea (1), Ethiopia (6), Kenya (16), Malawi (1), Mozambique (1), Nigeria (2), Rwanda (1), Tanzania (2), Uganda (2), and Zambia (1).  The instructors came from Kenya, several neighboring countries in East Africa, and Iceland.

The course was the 15th event held in support to the UN development goals (MDGs and SDGs).  The Workshop for Decision Makers on Geothermal Projects and their Management, held in 2005, was followed up by the Short Courses on Exploration for Geothermal Resources that were held annually over the period 2006-2015 in support of the Millennium Development Goals.  The current SDG series was started in 2016.