Mind the Gap: Conflicts in the Implementation of Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project

Ilse Maria Renkens*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Renewable energy projects are increasingly being implemented at scale to meet global climate goals, often targeting lands on the margins of the state and affecting the livelihoods of Indigenous or marginalized populations. This article argues a need for project-developers, investors and rights advocates to consider the potentially significant ‘gap’ between their expectations that the rights of local populations will be settled at the start of a particular investment and the conflicts over rights, recognition and benefits that emerge during implementation that risk derailing investments. This is particularly relevant for renewable investments, as their claims to global and national benefits divert attention from their local impacts. Empirically, this is explored through the case of the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya. Based on interviews and literature review, the article examines the relations between the key stakeholders in this project by acknowledging their various ‘ways of seeing’ rights. Ruling elites often see rights as settled once they have been written into law and investors assume that rights have been dealt with at the project’s start, but local populations typically begin exploring their rights following project-induced changes. The interaction of stakeholders with such diverse views has important implications for the practice of human rights in the context of renewable energy investments.
TidsskriftForum for Development Studies
Antal sider26
StatusUdgivet - 2024


  • human rights
  • Indigenous peoples
  • renewable investments
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • sustainable development

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