Africa Focus – Geothermal Energy

Africa is fortunate to have significant clean Gas resources, but not all countries have them. With the challenges of electrification and elimination of energy poverty, there is a persistent, environmentally sustainable renewable available to provide this energy. Geothermal is a natural pivot for traditional upstream companies to broaden their asset base and prepare for the future. And significant funding and finance is available for helping with this solution that can be transformational for so much of Africa.

  • Africa is well known for Geothermal Energy associated with the East African Rift System (EARS) extending through Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea, but there are other potential locations for low and medium enthalpy Geothermal resources;
  • The African continent is composed of a crystalline, Precambrian basement where granitic-gneissic greenstone belts of Archean cratons are surrounded by Proterozoic orogenic provinces. These cratons are fragments of ancient crust and the surrounding mountainous orogenic belts are where higher heat flow signatures have been found due to convergent related subduction resulting in the presence of partial melt-derived plutonic rock intrusions including granitoids;
  • Additional areas for potential Geothermal Energy are present in West African countries including Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, Algeria. Farther south, the West Congolian Belt in Gabon, Congo, Cabinda, and Angola has granitoids with thermal anomalies indicative of geothermal potential. Namibia and South Africa have orogenic belts with good geothermal heat flow signatures;
  • Where intermittent Solar and Wind may be limited by clouds or low wind speeds, clean, environmentally sustainable renewable Geothermal Energy may be possible thanks to modern, low and medium enthalpy Binary ORC power generation solutions. Good geoscience tools are available to help incrementally explore and de-risk these heat energy sources before more expensive drilling is required;
  • Very attractive Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is commercially feasible for many developments to help improve electrification and reduce energy poverty across the continent.

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