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Issue No. 0837:
November 22 - 28, 2014

Front page 1

Odonyo Lengai has more to offer

By Staff Writer

The entire area at the foot of the Oldonyo Lengai  (Mountain of God) in the Lake Natron Precinct is described to have great potential for harvesting geothermal energy but environmental concerns stifle the proposed project.

Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Mr Stephene Masele who was in Arusha recently stated that the active volcano at ‘Oldonyo L’engai,’  hot springs in Enkaresero area and the brine-filled Lake Natron striding the leeward side of Ngorongoro Crater hold ample rock heat underneath which can supply abundant power to energize the entire country but international laws as well as green activists may oppose the .


Oldonyo Lengai

“Lake Natron is regarded of Ramsa Wetland site and breeding area for pink flamingos something that has been placing the vicinity under global microscope ready for green activists to raise uproar should commercial undertakings start there,” said the Deputy Minister.

The Lake Natron area apparently, is one of the 50 sites found countrywide with geothermal potential while experts point out that Tanzania accounts for nearly 10 percent of the total geothermal potential found across the African Continent though the country is yet to start harvesting the ground heat energy.

The Vice President, Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal stated here during a recently held Geothermal meeting in Arusha that Tanzania alone has a potential of above 5,000 Megawatts of geothermal energy out of the 40,000 Megawatts available within the African Rift Valley; “This calls for speeding up of our geothermal development strategies to tap this huge potential and contribute to timely attainment of our energy development targets,” the VP added.

The whole of the East African Rift Valley is also said to be home to 20,000 Megawatts of Geothermal energy.

Arusha recently hosted the 5th African Rift Geothermal Conference where government officials revealed that the state has specific targets in the energy sector including stepping up the electricity generation capacity from the current 1,480 Megawatts to over 2,780 megawatts by next year (2015).

But with the proposed tapping of the 5000 megawatts of geothermal power lurking beneath the earth, the country is set to meet all the energy needs within its borders and even sell surplus elsewhere.

Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Mr Stephene Masele said Tanzania is focusing to boost its energy production to reach an amazing 10,000 megawatts load by the year 2025 when, if all goes well, the country stand to develop into a major industrial area due to its power pool.

“Industrial development is all about the availability of abundance and sustainable energy something which Tanzania is soon going to become once we tap all the potential renewable energy,” said Mr Masele.

It was observed during the meeting that though Africa accounts for 30 percent of the world’s population it is only 2.5 percent of the continent’s 1 billion population which access electricity causing them to resort to other means of alternative energy such as firewood, mush to the destructiveness of the environment.

Tanzania which loses over 400,000 hectares of forest cover annually out of mostly charcoal and firewood burning will now commit itself towards investing heavily in renewable energy, especially geothermal power on that the heat energy happens to be both cost-effectiveness and greener for environment sake.

 

 

 

     

 

 

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