Kenya says it will increase geothermal energy output by 4,000MW over the next 20 years to ensure it has reliable and green energy supplies, according to the Geothermal Development Company.

Geothermal Development CEO Silas Simiyu told news service Bloomberg that Kenya is experiencing a political push to generate economical and reliable green energy.

“Funds from the Kenyan Government, private investors and donors totalling about $16bn will be required to exploit the potential of a fault line in the earth’s surface that runs through Kenya over the next 20 years,” Simiyu said.

Unexploited geothermal energy reserves are present in abundance in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley region, which has two tectonic units that are separating in the earth’s surface.

Kenya’s Olkaria geothermal field contains three production sites that currently generate a combined 167MW of power, compared to a 7,000MW national potential.

The Kenyan Government is aiming to develop two more potential sites in Olkaria with a combined estimated generation capacity of 350MW using $850m funds.

The government will dig up to 50 wells in Olkaria by the end of 2009 using Great Wall Drilling’s two drilling rigs.

In a bid to step up geothermal energy exploitation, the government says it will buy its own drilling equipment using $90m funds promised by France.

Kenya requires a $5bn investment to increase power production capacity, as demand for power is expected to expand to 2,029MW by 2014.