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An estimated 0.7GW of new geothermal power came online in 2017, bringing the global total to an estimated 12.8GW, according to REN21’s Renewables Global Status 2018 report.

Kenya ranked ninth in the world for the highest geothermal power generation capacity, with over 500MW.

Earlier this year, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the government of Kenya in Nairobi to provide a Japanese ODA loan of up to JPY 10.077 billion ($94 million) for the Olkaria I Units 1, 2 and 3 Geothermal Power Plant Rehabilitation Project.

JICA said in a statement that the project will rehabilitate units 1–3 (15MW each) of the existing Olkaria I Geothermal Power Plant to approximately 51MW (17MW each) in the Olkaria geothermal field in Nakuru County in central Kenya.

The REN21 report places the United States in the lead with total capacity peaking at around 2.5GWnet and geothermal power generated about 16TWh during the year, accounting for 0.4% of US net generation, the report noted. Read more: Renewable power generation hits 70% of net additions

The following countries ranked in the top 10:

  1. United States (+- 2,500MW)
  2. Phillipines (+- 1,800MW)
  3. Indonesia (+- 1,600MW)
  4. Turkey (+- 1,100MW)
  5. New Zealand (1,000MW)
  6. Mexico (+- 900MW)
  7. Italy (+- 800MW)
  8. Iceland (+-750MW)
  9. Kenya (+-700MW)
  10. Japan (+- 500MW)

Geothermal report highlights concerns

Sitting at just over 500MW of total generating capacity, Japan saw the start of the 5MW Takigami binary plant in 2017, bringing total capacity to 527MW.

"Despite its significant resource potential, development of geothermal energy in Japan has been tempered by concerns about safety and potential unintended economic and environmental consequences, including its possible adverse effects on hot springs,” the report highlighted.

Download the full report here