Kenya is among the countries poised to lead in wind energy investment in Africa this year according to a new report.
Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the international trade association for the wind power industry, says Kenya is setting the pace in the region in the use of wind as a renewable source of energy by initiating the generation of 700 megawatts for the national grid.
"For the Middle East and Africa, the main drivers will continue to be South Africa, Morocco (and we hope) Egypt, with strong contributions from Kenya and Ethiopia as some of the smaller markets are just getting off the ground," says GWEC in its latest annual Global Wind Report market update.
It notes that at the end of 2016, over 99 per cent of Middle East and Africa region's total wind energy installations were spread across 10 countries - South Africa, Morocco (787 megawatts), Egypt (810 megawatts), Tunisia (245 megawatts), Ethiopia (171 megawatts), Jordan (119 megawatts), Iran (91 megawatts), Cape Verde (24 megawatts), Kenya (19 megawatts), Israel (6.25 megawatts) and Algeria (10 megawatts).
The report cites Kenya's Lake Turkana wind project, now completed and set to be commissioning in the coming months, as an example.
The 310-megawatt project will account for almost 18 per cent of Kenya's total installed power generation capacity.
The German Development Bank and Agence Française de Développement of France are also doing due diligence of a wind farm of the KenGen in Meru with plan to construct a 400-megawatt plant.