Renewable Energy Investment: Google’s Commitment To Invest in Africa’s Biggest Wind Farm In Northern Kenya


Google Company is actively taking part in minding the future. The company has progressively made a positive impact in the society and built a reputation for itself in the last few years by being actively involved in sustainable investments and developments. Google is known for investing in renewable energy, which is not only an innovative and altenative solution for their data centers, but also a means to offer sustainable solutions to real life problems facing the society today. Such innovative solutions is what the world currently needs, especially in times like these where one of the biggest challenges we’re facing today is the problem of energy. It’s no secret that most of the energy we use comes from burning fossil fuels which produce large volumes of Co2, that not only damage the environement, but also contribute to the so called ‘man-made’ climate change. In the current condition of our society, what we urgently need are innovative and sustainable solutions that try to solve or end the cycle of global warming.


Google’s continous  and latest commitment to making a positive impact in our society, is to take part in a huge investment in Africa for the second time, by commiting to invest in a wind power project, in Northern Kenya, which when completed will be Africa’s Largest wind power farm.

(Read about the first one here here-‘Investing in a South African solar project’)

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is located in the Loyangalani district of Kenya, Marsabit West County, in North-Eastern Kenya and the wind farms site is single and biggest wind farm in Africa covering 40,000 acres (162km2). According to Lake Turkana Wind Power Project ( LTWP), the project will comprise of 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850 kW), the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation. (More on the Lake Turkana Wind Farm Site and Wind Turbine details- here)


The location of the wind turbines is also an important aspect to think about.  Even landscapes for low carbon power also call for a careful thinking where to put the wind turbines. For the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, the site is said to be optimal! Even though it is known that everything else can be quite hard in the Turkana region, Lake Turkana is a proven ideal location because there, you get literally one of the best winds in the world,  which is reliable for this sort of project. –The area is a relatively a desolate spot with no transmission line networks.  The winds sweeping through the area have their origins from the Indian Ocean and are channeled through the “Turkana corridor” which are created by both the Ethiopian and Kenyan highlands.

(More details on Turkana corridor Phenomenon -here)

For this project, Google is joining a large group of international investors which include, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) the U.S. government’s development Financial InstitutionsVestas which is supplying the turbines for the wind farm.  Google intends tp purchsase Vestas’ 12.5% stake in Lake Turkana once it comes online  (More about the Investors here)

The Lake Turkana Wind Farm project which achieved it’s Financial close  on 19th December 2014,  is being financed through a combination of both debt and equity financing. More information about the financing structure can be found on the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project – Fact Sheet

The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Northern Kenya will be of great help and beneficial for the organisations involved (including Google) and the society at large. The investment is expected to bring 310 Megawatts to Kenya, enough to provide power to more than two million households in Kenya. This is quite beneficial because it brings   stability to Kenya’s energy supply and to enable reduce reliance on burning fossil fuels, which we all know is a major contribution to Co2 that are quite damaging to the environment. Wind Power is sustainable and it is a source of elecrtic power generator which is cheaper and reliable. Clean energy is the future.


Deutsche Bank $6 Billion “Fat Finger” Error


Ooops! Too many zeros! To err is Human, right? We all make mistakes. I also recall making mistakes when i first worked in an Accounting office and i realised the balance sheet couldn’t balance because of an extra ‘zero‘ i mistakenly added.

However, a typo or an addition of some extra zeros was not just a logical banking error at the Deutsche Bank Ag in Summer, June 2015. It turned out to be a huge financial error with too many zeros, which exceeded the figure that was supposed to be wired. What an expensive mistake? But thank goodness the giant German Bank recovered their money from the  US Hedge fund the following day. According to a Financial Times article by Martin Arnold and Katie Martin in London, a Junior member of the Deutsche Bank‘s trading team mistakenly transferred $6 Billion to a hedge fund client’s account in the US this year in June 2015. Although the ‘fat-finger’ error was reversed within 24 hours, the erroneous transaction is said to have been tied to a communications error where the junior foreign trader “misunderstood” instructions left by the client sales person who at the time was on leave. The article further reveals that Instead of processing a net value of trades, he processed a gross value and failed to offset the value. The bank reported the incident to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve.


Further eyebrows have been raised on this matter which according to FT, has raised many questions. For example, about Deutsche Bank’s Internal systems for watching huge transactions like that. Why was the error was not spotted under the “Four Eyes Principle” which in a business context, is a requirement that two individuals review and approve a business action or transaction before it can be taken? More questions have been raised about the bank’s operational controls and risk management.

A lot has been going on lately at Deutsche Bank AG especially on issues targeting leadership, restructuring, management, strategy and on top of it,  joint resignations of the giant bank’s co- Chief executives, Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain, which according to an article by Wall Street Journal, has left investors with questions about the future direction of the bank.

(Why the two Deutsche Bank Co-CEOs Jain and Fitschen are Resigning )

Nevertheless, since July 2015, the German bank which is now under new leadership with co-CEO John Cryan, is determined to work on improvement in areas technology, internal processes and it’s relations with it’s regulators. A full article about the Deutsche Bank $6bn “Fat Finger” error can be found here