Joseph Muyundo Wanyonyi, Joel Rutto Sutter
Geothermal Development Company
Kenya is targeting to be a mid-income economy by 2030. Energy is identified as an “enabler” in The Big Four Agenda, The Third Medium Plan (TMP III) and Vision 2030 framework. It is forecasted that the energy demand of the country will increase from the current installed capacity of 2371 MW to 21,620 MW by 2030. Geothermal energy is expected to increase from the current installed capacity of 676.8 MW to 5500 MW. This will require drilling more than 1,000 production and re-injection wells. For the above objective to be met, it is paramount to come up with ways of improving drilling rig efficiency, drilling performance, reducing invisible non-production time, reducing the drilling cost and reducing the risk of drilling operations. Recent developments in production processes and their automation have led to the definition of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly known as “Industry 4.0”. “Industry 4.0” has been identified as a way of reducing the safety risk while speeding up the whole drilling process and hence increasing efficiency, reducing cost and increasing productivity in the drilling industry. Therefore, this paper systematically introduces the concept and core technologies of “Industry 4.0”, such as 3D printing, augmented reality, block-chain technology, virtual reality, robotics, mobile connectivity, Internet Of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics. Moreover, this paper analyzes typical application scenarios in geothermal drilling. This paper aims at letting personnel in the geothermal drilling industry understand the benefits and application scenarios of Industry 4.0, so as to better apply it to practical engineering in the future. In the discussion section, this paper also analyzes the opportunities and difficulties that may be brought about by the “Industry 4.0” in geothermal drilling. Finally, relevant policy recommendations are proposed.