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‘The biggest challenge facing the geothermal industry is the reluctance of many investors to finance exploration endeavours.’

Ralph Nyakabwa-Atwoki

Ralph Nyakabwa-Atwoki is Project Consultant of Katwe Geothermal Power Project Limited and a speaker at the upcoming EAPIC.  Here is an exclusive interview with him. 

You will address EAPIC on the Katwe geothermal project; can you give us a sneak preview of your presentation?
My presentation will centre on briefing the conference delegates, especially those from countries with and intending to develop their geothermal resources, on challenges and experience of developing geothermal energy in absence of specific geothermal energy policy and legal framework and the need for equally innovative and exceptional interventions hinged on goodwill and strong support of the governments and other pertinent institutions.

What do you regard as the biggest challenge for the geothermal industry in this region?
The biggest challenge facing the geothermal industry in the region is the reluctance of many investors to finance exploration endeavours.

What do you regard as the biggest accomplishments so far?
In my opinion, the biggest accomplishments with regard to geothermal energy resources development in the region are twofold:

  • The Kenyan vision of taking advantage of their geothermal resource and use it not only to redefine its economic development but also to serve as a showcase of what other regional members should do to develop their own geothermal resources.
  • The creation of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility for Eastern Africa (GRMF).

What is your vision for the industry?
To embrace the development of geothermal energy resources as a lead solution to East African’s low electricity consumption and mitigation against its grave impediment to rapid economic and social development.

What surprises you about the geothermal industry?
Prince Ginori Conti (RIP) developed the geothermal power technology at Larderello, Italy in 1904 and after almost 110 years later; everyone is thinking and focusing on “Geothermal as a Solution to Africa’s Energy needs”.

What will be your message at EAPIC in September?
The governments, financiers and other key stakeholders must take global warming and environmental damage seriously, make concerted efforts to rebrand, renew and rethink their strategies and create innovative, enabling policies and increased flexible financial resources for geothermal development.

Anything you would like to add?
To formally thank you and your organization Spintelligent, Clarion Events, for inviting me as a speaker at the East African Power industry Convention in Nairobi, Kenya and hope that my presentation is of value to the conference delegates and the development Geothermal energy resources at large.