Ethiopia is officially home to the largest wind farm in all of Africa and raising the bar for accepting renewable energy practices.
With 84 turbines and a capacity to create 120 MW of electricity, this wind farm significantly contributes to the output of two additional farms that each have a capacity of 51 MW, making Ethiopia Africa’s leading producer of renewable energy.
Over the last 10 years or so, we have seen plenty African countries seek ways to exploit new energy sources as a means to feed the increasing economy. The Ethiopian wind farm was helped by French and German companies with French funding.
Earlier this year, the president of the USA disclosed that the country is committing $7 billion over 5 years in financial support for Power Africa (a new initiative that aims to double the access to power in sub-Saharan Africa). Power Africa will include the development of clean geothermal, hydro, wind and solar technologies in addition to developing the transmission systems to expand the reach of mini-grid and off-grid solutions. Such inward investment and technical support is certainly required to develop these kinds of projects.
Despite the amazing growth, over two thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa still have no electricity with more than 85% of those living in rural areas lacking access. Even the towns and cities that are connected to mains electricity experience power cuts on a regular occurrence.
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