Ethiopia's Ashegoda wind farm to power Sub-Saharan Africa

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Originally published on December 6, 2013 Sign up for a free trial of News Direct\'s animated news graphics at animation depicts the newly-completed Ashegoda wind farm in Ethiopia and explains how wind turbines produce electricity. French firm Vergnet Group has completed a 84-turbine wind farm in a rural area of northern Ethiopia, the first of several large wind farms planned for this resource-poor, landlocked east African nation. The turbines work much like an old-fashioned windmill, with the blades turning in order to rotate a rod. In a wind turbine, the rod is connected to a gearbox, which then powers the faster spinning of another rod that\'s connected to a generator that is able to convert the energy produced into electricity. Renewable energy generation in Ethiopia has now reached just over 2000 megawatts of power, but the nation hopes to boost the \'green\' production to 10,000 megawatts, which is approximately the amount of power a single U.S. household uses per year. The Ashegoda wind farm has a total capacity of 120 megawatts. A Chinese wind farm site, currently under construction in the southeast of Ethiopia, will produce 204 megawatts of power, adding to the country\'s goal of becoming an African leader in the production of renewable energy. Only 53 percent of Ethiopia has access to electricity at present, but the country has ambitious plans, with several other wind farm projects scheduled to begin construction soon. After supplying their own nation\'s power needs, Ethiopia hopes to become an electricity exporter, sending power to neighboring nations. The opening of the Ashegoda wind farm is one of the first steps towards Ethiopia\'s goal of becoming a middle-income, carbon-neutral nation by 2025.

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