Google’s Next Clean Energy Project

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Google Pumps Funds Into Africa’s Biggest Wind Power Project

Wired, October 20, 2015. Image credit: DWilliams

GOOGLE IS BACKING Africa’s largest wind power project, two years after investing $12 million in the continent’s largest solar power project.

This morning, at a conference in Washington, D.C., the tech giant announced its support for the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in northern Kenya, a project that could provide enough clean energy to power 2 million homes, representing about 15 percent of the capacity of the country’s power grid. The average wind speed at Lake Turkana is almost 25 mph, according to Google.

The move is Google’s 22nd investment in clean energy infrastructure, spanning a total of 2.5 gigawatts of power and more than $2 billion. Most of the company’s investment has been in the US, but Rick Needham, a Google director of energy and sustainability, says the company wants to promote clean energy in the developing world. “The fastest growing economies are here, and there’s a strong need for critical power,” he says of places like Kenya. “Economies are being held back because they don’t have enough power—and yet they have wonderful renewable resources. These nations can meet their future and growing energy needs by tapping into some of the best renewable resources in the world.”

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