UN chief lauds China for spearheading green economy

United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon has praised China’s efforts towards making a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy.

He noted that China has already sank 30 wells in an exploration and drilling exercise, speaking at Kenya’s Olkaria Geothermal Plant on the floor of the Great Rift Valley northwest of Nairobi at the conclusion of his visit to the country where he presided over a meeting of representatives of all UN agencies. “I am impressed with the work that is going on here and express my gratitude to China for championing Green Economy especially as we prepare for next year’s Rio + 20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Brazil 20 years after the Rio Earth Summit of 1992,” said the UN boss who was accompanied by his wife.

The UN head who wrapped up his three-day visit to Kenya late Saturday praised the technical and financial support that the Chinese government has extended to Kenya to help East Africa largest economy tap its geothermal potential estimated at 7,000 MW.

He said that the 150 MW geothermal project located in Naivasha about 100 km from the capital city, Nairobi is good illustration of technical cooperation involving developing countries. “Other countries should emulate what the Chinese government is doing to assist developing countries to improve the lives of its citizens. This is a good example of South-South cooperation where technology and know how is helping countries move towards a green economy,” he said. The new rigs will allow for directional drilling into the earth crust in order for the country to reach its ambitious target of 1, 200 MW by 2018. “Kenyan scientist and engineers at KenGen will benefit from the technology transfer and capacity provided by the Chinese drilling experts to increase the generation of green energy,” Kenya’s Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi said. KenGen, the country’s largest electricity generating company is set to drill 550 wells within the next 10 years, using the new rigs, at Olkaria and surrounding environs.

Geothermal power generation requires exploration and drilling for steam generated by the ‘hot rocks’ or relatively young geological areas to turn electricity-generating turbines.

It requires exploration and drilling for steam of sufficient quantities and temperature to make it cost-effective, economical and practical.

Estimates by the Earth Policy Institute in Washington indicate that globally, geothermal capacity rose from 1,300 MW in 1975 to 8, 000 MW in 2000 and stood at almost 10,000 MW in 2007.

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