Powering Agri-food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat - Africa

19 July 2022 |Virtual


The use of geothermal heat in the agri-food sector is rising worldwide, with several examples in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. In Africa, there is significant geothermal potential, particularly along the East Africa Rift region where high and medium temperature geothermal resources are found. In other regions including North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa and Central Africa, low and medium temperature geothermal resources are more accessible.

The agricultural sector remains a key economic driver in Africa. The utilization of geothermal energy along the agri-food value chains for food production, processing and drying has the potential to enhance productivity and reduce food losses. Currently, the main applications of geothermal energy in the agri-food sector in Africa include agricultural drying, greenhouse and aquaculture heating. However, more significant progress can be achieved with increased support in areas such as resource mapping, development of enabling policies and regulations, access to financing, and capacity building, as well as with the development of tools that can enable policymakers to carry out assessments of geothermal heat utilisation, such as socio-economic impacts and heat pricing. These assessments might provide relevant information to support decision making, hence fostering accelerated use of geothermal heat in the agri-food sector.

In the framework of the Global Geothermal Alliance, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), collaborated with partners in Africa to organise a webinar to share experiences and best practices for accelerating the use of geothermal heat in the agri-food sector in the region. The webinar included the presentation of successful case studies of geothermal agri-food applications from around the world. The findings of IRENA’s recent publication, a guidebook for policymakers on Powering Agri-food Value Chains with Geothermal Heat were also shared.