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.
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 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.
"Today, we again raised the bar for the continent as we unveil Africa's single largest wind farm"-H.E. President Kenyatta.— Lake Turkana Wind Power (@LTWPOfficial) July 22, 2019
A few photos from Lake Turkana Wind Power's official inauguration on Friday 19th July 2019.#Vision2030 #WindPower #CleanEnergy #LTWP pic.twitter.com/iiMhEAOVFi
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.
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.
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.