Experts say a new study shows that the world’s top 10 solar and wind companies are driving more poverty on Africa. As countries try to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, the researchers claim these corporations have been displacing some of those efforts with environmental destruction.
“Power swarm” is a term that describes the process of countries and organizations investing in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. The problem with this is, those who don’t invest in these new technologies will be left without power during periods of high demand. This causes poverty on Africa.
On Oct. 6, wind turbines are in operation at a wind farm in Vredenburg, South Africa.
Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg News photo
Africa’s future development cannot be sacrificed in the sake of Western climate aspirations. Even while this would certainly disappoint some of those attending next week’s global climate meeting in Glasgow, the continent should balance its energy mix rather than rush to renewables.
Much of the future of the environment will be determined by my continent’s energy choices. According to conservative predictions, Africa’s current population of 1.3 billion people would double by 2050. Around the same period, African energy consumption will certainly exceed that of the European Union.
Because of this, several wealthy countries are pressing for a faster shift to renewable energy in Africa. The Western aid-industrial complex, which includes non-governmental organizations and government development agencies, has poured money into wind and solar projects all throughout Africa. This gives them acclaim in the United States and Europe, but it leaves many Africans with inconsistent and costly energy, which is dependent on diesel generators or batteries on gloomy or still days. Both generators and lithium mining for batteries are very harmful.
This would thwart Africa’s efforts to lift itself out of poverty, which will need dependable energy. Without reliable energy supplies, African industry would struggle to attract investment and, as a result, generate employment. If the continent can’t utilize natural gas to make synthetic fertilizer or power efficient freight transportation, agriculture would suffer.
A better answer for Africa would be for it to gradually transition to a range of dependable green energy sources. Minihydro technologies that are beneficial to wildlife should be included in the continent’s energy mix. They can produce electricity 24 hours a day and can be put along small rivers without the requirement for backup power. In the interim, coal-fired power plants may be converted to burn biomass, and carbon capture can assist. Nuclear power is already in use in South Africa, and research reactors are being built in Algeria, Ghana, and Nigeria with the goal of developing full-scale nuclear power plants.
All of this will take time, therefore Africa will have to rely on fossil fuels to get there. Natural gas is a more environmentally friendly choice that will enable Africa cut emissions even as it expands, as wealthy countries have done.
Developing countries retaliate if you say any of this. Instead of investing in dependable renewables or cleaner fossil fuels, aid money and development funds are being used to promote solar and wind energy, which has its own set of difficulties. Furthermore, many Western countries have imposed blanket bans on public financing for a variety of fossil-fuel initiatives overseas, making it harder for Africa to move to greener nonrenewable energy sources.
My continent will have a significant impact on global warming in the next decades. However, it no longer does. Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) would contribute just 0.6 percent to global carbon emissions if it tripled its energy demand overnight, powered completely by gas.
Africans have a right to utilize dependable, affordable electricity, and doing so does not preclude the growth of renewable energy on the continent. Forcing Africa to choose one path would stymie our efforts to eradicate poverty.
Uganda’s president is Yoweri Museveni.
The energy supply crisis is exacerbated by poor policy decisions. Associated Press photo
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“The abject poverty of Africa” is a problem that has been present for a while. The “Solar and Wind Force Poverty on Africa.”
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