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International Partnerships

Sustainable use of energy enables social development across Africa

Africa has abundant renewable energy sources including hydro, wind and solar power. The region has enormous potential in this area because around 90% of the continent’s economically feasible hydropower potential (equal to a tenth of the world’s total) remains unused.

Currently, renewable energy accounts for a very small share of the total energy provision. In Africa, 57% of the population remain without access to electricity, which hinders the continent’s economic development and prevents it from reaching its potential.

Lake Turkana, Kenya: Sustainable and modern Use of Energy to meet basic human needs
© European Investment Bank, 2019.

The European Investment Bank came in very strongly. They brought about 200 m to the table, which was a huge confirmation of confidence in the project. When I look in front of me now and I see these rows of turbines, it is something we have seen for 9 years on plans on paper. To see it now, that it is really happening is a great satisfaction.

Carlo van Wageningen, co-founder of the Lake Turkana Wind farm

Investments in energy efficiency, including domestic, industrial and public usage, help to increase energy availability and reduce energy bills. This in turn promotes wider access, economic competitiveness and growth.

The EU is committed to invest in energy initiatives, which provide regional benefits in terms of clean affordable energy to populations and make the most of natural resources responsibly.

The Lake Turkana Wind Farm project in Kenya is one of the regional infrastructure projects co-financed by the EU, which has brought clean energy to thousands of homes.

Lake Turkana, Kenya: Sustainable and modern Use of Energy to meet basic human needs
© European Investment Bank, 2019.

With a price tag of EUR 620m, the EU provided a 25 million equity contribution and 200m loan. It is the largest Public-Private Partnership project in Kenyan history and its success has reinforced the country’s status as a safe and reliable investment destination. The construction of the impressive windfarm, in one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of Kenya is an impressive show of expertise in logistics and engineering and it’s a dream come true for the region.

Not only did the project include the rehabilitation of approximately 200km of existing road to the wind farm site but the 365 wind turbines will off-set well over 700.000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

During its lifetime the project will moreover create around 2 800 direct jobs, but the opportunities brought about by what is provided – clean, stable electricity at 60% of the unit cost of its thermally generated equivalent – will see small businesses in Kenya create many thousands more!