Kenya Launches Africa's Largest Wind Power Project

Lake Turkana in northern Kenya is now home to over 300 wind turbines, launching Africa's largest wind power project.

Kenya Launches Africa's Largest Wind Power Project
Wind turbines at the Lake Turana wind power project. Lake Turkana Wind Power

Friday saw the launch of Africa's largest wind power project to date. Set on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, the country's project aims to reduce electricity costs and fossil fuel dependency, with the ultimate goal of working on 100 percent green energy by 2020

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The wind farm, known as Lake Turkana Wind Power(LTWP), boasts 365 turbines and will boost the country's electricity supply by 13 percent, bringing power at lower costs for Kenyans -- as President Uhuru Kenyatta said at its opening. 

Kenya and renewable energy

"Kenya is without doubt on course to be a global leader in renewable energy," said Kenyatta. 

Kenya Launches Africa's Largest Wind Power Project
Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, in the Blue Room during a U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit dinner in the White House. Source: Amanda Lucidon/Wikimedia Commons

Kenya has indeed been making huge steps towards renewable energy and is one of the few African countries moving more and more decidedly toward clean energy. 

Currently, 70 percent of the nation's electricity comes from renewable resources such as hydropower and geothermal. This is roughly three times more than the average around the world.  

State-owned power company KenGen creates 80 percent of Kenya's electricity, with 65 percent of that power coming from hydro-power sources.

However, more steps still need to be taken as around one in four Kenyans in rural areas still live without any electricity whatsoever, and those who do have it experience regular blackouts.

Lake Turkana Wind Power

The project cost approximately $700 million to build, making it the largest private investment in Kenya's history, as per Kenyatta's speech. 

One of the reasons the location of Lake Turkana was selected for the 52-meter blade span windmills is due to the high winds that blow across the largely remote area.

Kenya Launches Africa's Largest Wind Power Project
Lake Turkana and its vicinity. Source: Rudyologist/Wikimedia Commons

This project will generate 310-megawatts of renewable energy to the eastern African nation. 

"It's euphoric, you start with what was a dream, putting together the largest private sector investment in the history of a country that comprises the largest wind farm on the continent. In an area that is what you see here. And finally, you are able to generate and produce the power," said Rizwan Fazal, the Executive Director of the Lake Turkana project. 

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Kenya Launches Africa's Largest Wind Power Project
Wind turbines. Source: Lake Turkana Wind Power

We now simply need to wait until 2020 to see if Kenya will operate 100 percent on clean energy. They're certainly on the right track. 

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