Kenya moves closer to 100% renewables with completion of Africa’s biggest wind farm

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The 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project is Africa’s largest, and will help Kenya reach its 100% renewables target by 2020.

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Kenya is celebrating the launch of Africa’s largest wind power farm, after the 310 MWLake Turkana Wind Power project was inaugurated last Friday by the country’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Today, we again raised the bar for the continent as we unveil Africa’s single largest wind farm,” Kenyatta said. “Kenya is without doubt on course to be a global leader in renewable energy.”

The 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project was connected to Kenya’s national grid in late-2018 but had to wait until last Friday for its official launch.

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana, in the country’s north, and powered by a powerful natural wind corridor, the project is set to contribute 13% of Kenya’s total electricity supply, helping propel the country towards its goal of generating 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources.

“It’s euphoric, you’re start 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,” said Rizwan Fazal, Executive Director of the Lake Turkana Project, as quoted by African News.

Kenya is aiming to be powered entirely by renewables by 2020. Much of its power needs are already supplied from hydro and geothermal power plants.

“Our target is to attain 100% green energy sufficiency by 2020,” said President Kenyatta in November of 2018, speaking during a roundtable discussion on “Don’t drop climate efforts” session of the Paris Peace Forum in France. “We will do this while we achieve 100% access to power for our population, and sharply lower costs to industry to aid our manufacturing push.”

The African Development Bank Group, writing in October of 2018, claimed that Kenya had increased its nationwide electrification from 28% in 2013 to over 60% in 2017, and is on track to achieve 80% electrification by 2020.

“Six million homes, that is, 69.4% of the population, have electricity supply,” said Ken Tarus, CEO of the national electricity distribution company, Kenya Power, in June 2017.

The country, as of 2017, according to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), derives 827MW of its electricity from hydropower, and another 672 MW from geothermal energy.

In fact, Kenya is one of the world’s leading geothermal-powered countries, ranking 9thin 2017 according to the Renewables Global Status 2018. Further, an estimated 9 million households across the country have access to off-grid renewable energy electricity generation – a figure which is only expected to increase over the coming years.

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