Thursday, September 10, 2020

Energy and Africa

 Africa currently accounts for less than 4% of global carbon emissions. But across the continent, standards of living are rising and the entire population is set to double by 2050. Either way, energy consumption in Africa is set to rise.

 Africa is not locked into fossil fuels.  It is the hypocrisy on the part of energy donors and investors, because they want to fund dirty projects in Africa.

Africa is incredibly blessed with renewable energy. The whole continent has access to solar energy. There's huge potential for wind energy. In East Africa we have the huge potential of geothermal energy and different parts of the continent also have access to hydropower. 

Not a single African country that isn't blessed with renewable energy power. What  is lacking is an effective strategy that allows the continent to actually effectively exploit the renewable energy power that exists. 

Those nations that became wealthy while contributing to climate change shall compensate those who did not and who are experiencing the worst effects. That will include compensating Africa and incentivising Africa to keep fossil fuels in the ground and exploit the abundant resources we have in renewable energy.  If we believe that the polluter should pay, then we must argue that those who are responsible for contributing to climate change shouldn't be allowed to shirk that responsibility. 

Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in Africa. A lot of its oil goes out of the country and Nigeria is still energy poor. You still have long queues in every service station for a basic product that the country is producing, but then exporting and then importing the refined product. This is still quite inefficient commercially, because it's characterised by imported, expensive and environmentally unsustainable fossil fuels. So here is an opportunity where we can either go down the path of an old-fashioned energy system that will lock Africa into standard assets. Or pursue a cleaner, sustainable path.

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