The 40th session of the UNU-GTP opened on Tuesday 17th of April, with 24 UNU Fellows in the six month specialized courses. The Fellows come from 14 countries: Bolivia (1), China (2), Djibouti (1), Ecuador (1), El Salvador (1), Ethiopia (2), Indonesia (3), Kenya (5), Nevis (1), Philippines (1), St. Lucia (1), Tanzania (2), and Zambia (1). This is the first time St. Lucia participates in the Six Month Programme. The Fellows will be trained in: Project management and finances (7), Drilling Technology (6), Chemistry of Thermal Fluids (4), Geophysical exploration (4), and Geothermal Utilization (3).
From 1979-2017, 670 scientists and engineers from 60 countries have completed the annual six month training. They have come from countries in Africa (39%), Asia (35%), Central and Eastern Europe (11%), Latin America (14%), and Oceania (1%). Amongst these have been 149 women (22%). Since 2000, 57 have graduated with MSc. Three MSc Fellows graduated in early 2017 and three are graduated in late 2017. Five MSc Fellows commenced their studies in September 2016 and are estimated to graduate in 2018. Two started their PhD studies in 2017. Two continue their PhD studies.
The aim of the UNU Geothermal Training Programme is to assist in establishing groups of specialists in selected institutions in developing countries with significant geothermal potential. Priority is given to candidates from countries where geothermal exploration and development is already under way.
Of the 670 graduates from 1979-2017, the largest groups of Fellows have come from Kenya (124), China (87), El Salvador (40), the Philippines (40), Ethiopia (38), and Indonesia (29).
The group of Kenyan Fellows is an example of successful capacity building. The group consists of:
- 30 Drilling engineers
- 25 Geologists
- 18 Chemists
- 15 Geophysicists
- 16 Geothermal engineers
- 13 Reservoir engineers
- 12 Environmental specialists
- 4 Project managers
The former Kenyan UNU Fellows are staff members of government institutions, municipal energy utilities and universities. Many of the Fellows are in the forefront of geothermal research and development in the country. Kenya has ambitions goals for geothermal development and is planning to generate about 5,000 MWe by 2030.