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Google keenly promoting wind energy in Africa

Why Google Cares about Wind Power in Africa Millions of people are coming online, and that requires (renewable) energy, Scientific American  By Daniel CusickClimateWire on October 12, 2016 

Google Inc.’s investment in Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is its largest on the African continent to date, but it almost certainly won’t be the last.

The California internet giant has shown a growing interest in sub-Saharan Africa since it made its first cash outlay three years ago—a $12 million investment in the Jasper Solar Power Project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.

The 96-megawatt photovoltaic project, completed in 2014, was built by U.S.-based SolarReserve LLC and is capable of powering roughly 80,000 South African homes.

The Lake Turkana deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, calls for Google to acquire 12.5 percent of the nearly $700 million project from Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark after the wind farm is completed next year.

“We are investing in clean energy projects like Lake Turkana because they make business sense and can help accelerate the deployment of renewable energy,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to E&E News.

She added that the company sees “a large opportunity in fast-growing markets with rich renewable energy resources, where both the need and the potential are great.”

The ownership group includes lead developers Aldwych International Ltd. of Great Britain and KP&P Africa BV of the Netherlands, with additional financial support from international development funds in Norway, Finland and Denmark.

As with Jasper in South Africa, Google said its wind power investment “will help bring much needed capacity and stability to Kenya’s energy supply, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and emergency diesel generation while providing some of the most cost effective power in the country.”

In total, Google has committed more than $2.5 billion to 22 renewable energy projects around the world, mostly through power purchase agreements and direct ownership of wind and solar farms, officials said. Much of its purchased power goes to support massive Google data centers in the United States and Europe.

But the company sees a future in the developing world, where millions of new internet users are coming online annually……..

October 14, 2016 - Posted by | AFRICA, renewable

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