On her trade mission to Kenya, Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, has signed an agreement with the Dutch initiators of the Lake Turkana Windpower Project, with a view to improving and expanding the road network in northern Kenya. A €10 million Dutch investment, channelled via the African Development Bank, will help open up the region around Marsabit for economic activity. It will benefit the local population and lead to major investment in the region. It will also include the provision of wind turbines for the Windpower Project, which is intended to grow into one of the biggest wind farms in Africa.
The local wind conditions make the area around Marsabit especially suitable for generating wind energy. The Lake Turkana Windpower Consortium plans to build a wind farm of 365 turbines that will generate 300 MW of green electricity for Kenya’s national grid. Once it is operational, the wind farm will be able to meet 17% of Kenya’s energy needs. It is a private initiative of a number of Dutch entrepreneurs in Kenya and is receiving support from Scandinavian countries, Dutch agriculturalists, and large investment banks. The Kenyan government has undertaken to construct the distribution network.
The project assures major Dutch involvement, according to Ms Ploumen. The supplier of the wind turbines, for instance, is based in the Netherlands, and several Dutch experts are involved in the technical research.
As well as contributing to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, the project will support development in northern Kenya. ‘It will improve access to local villages, boost employment and energy security, and increase investment in schooling and health care,’ said Ms Ploumen. ‘A great example of how trade and aid can go hand in hand.’
Source: Dutch government