$90 Billion Per Year: Africa’s Demand for Going Green

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Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Africa has just produced a report which estimates between $60 – $90 billion per year will be required for Africa’s green energy revolution.

Following high-level declarations at the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Conference in late 2015, there is a growing appetite for renewable energy in Africa. This is much-needed; the continent’s energy supplies are not meeting the needs and aspirations of its people. A better system will promote economic diversification, raise productivity, and improve the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Africa requires between $60 and $90 billion annually to address its energy shortfall, roughly quadruple 2014 investment levels. While fossil fuels, notably coal, oil and gas, continue to provide a signi cant quantity of energy – especially in South Africa – renewables need to play a greater role.

Africa has plentiful resources, from geothermal power in Kenya and Ethiopia to hydropower in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Solar and wind are especially promising, thanks to falling costs and resource abundance. From solar-powered hospitals in Lagos to wind farms in Lake Turkana, renewable energy is not just a pipe dream – it is a reality. Renewables can increase energy security, reduce energy import bills, and diversify and de-risk the energy mix. Through off-grid technologies, they can provide direct,affordable power to rural regions beyond the reach of the grid system.

But to harness renewables at scale, very significant infrastructure is needed: both core assets like wind and solar farms and transmission grids, as well as connective infrastructures, like roads to and from sites for transporting kit and manpower, or for bringing products, like solar-powered mobile phones, to market. This requires effective regulation, sufficient financing, appropriate technologies and smart business models.

Read more: http://www.ihstowers.com/documents/7/EIU_Renewable_Report.pdf

IHS Towers, the African company which produced the report, appears to be a major African telecommunications success story. They are backed by major Western finance companies including Goldman Sachs, and Dutch and Singapore sovereign wealth funds.

In my opinion this report simply adds to the evidence that renewables are utterly unaffordable, even if they were practical from an engineering perspective. Unlike India’s $2.5 trillion dollar estimate, IFS Towers at least offers an instalment plan. But it seems doubtful cash strapped Western governments will ever be able to raise the money required to fulfil the report’s ambitions – and this is just the estimated price tag for Africa going green. No doubt though Western governments will foot the bill for yet more jetset climate summits, in lieu of doing anything practical, so everyone can discuss the issues.

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145 thoughts on “$90 Billion Per Year: Africa’s Demand for Going Green

  1. Don’t know about geothermal power in Ethiopia, certainly coal and hydro. Ethiopia is building the biggest hydro power plant in Africa, damming the Nile. In any case, most of the 80 or so million people in Ethiopia don’t care where the power comes from, most usually can’t afford a hot meal every day let alone “green” power. Teff, used to make injera, a type of flat bread, is now so expensive that many go hungry.

    • There is a lot of geothermal potential in Ethiopia and in is in economical depth. Geothermal industry can stand in its own feet there. No need for any subsidy (of course they will ask for some, it never hurts to get some free money)

    • I work with a organization that provides aid for a small community in Liberia. There is no electricity (even though it is a suburb of Monrovia), and food prices have gone up so much that we can’t afford to provide meat regularly anymore. Protein is now provided primarily through beans and occasionally fish.

      But somehow, these people are supposed to somehow afford renewable power? That is truly crazy. I can’t even afford renewable power.

    • The hydropower dams are creating all sorts of diplomatic problems worldwide, but I understand the Nile is becoming quite the battleground, with all the surrounding countries squabbling about the effects of upstream damming on the downstream areas. Similar problems with the Mekong, IIRC.

      Didn’t the environmentalists proclaim that dams are evil and should be dismantled to save the river basins? Now they want to build more??

  2. From what I’ve read on Africa, most of the problems are political, either kitsch socialism and/or corruption. Most of the countries do not have the political structure to develop energy infrastucture, and much of the outside aid will be diverted.

    • I worked in both Eastern and Western Africa, and I saw high levels of corruption, significant intertribal conflicts, and really bad governments. Their problems go beyond being socialist to using too much nepotism and cronyism. I also noticed many of these “nations” are the result of colonial amalgamation of very diverse and sometimes mutually hostile ethnic groups/tribes/nations. This in turn leads to the problems I listed above being magnified.

      • Fernando, I don’t doubt that the “colonial amalgamations” have sometimes yielded an excess of “diversity” in the resulting populations, but it should not thereby be assumed that everything would be swell if territory boundaries were better aligned with tribal demographic patterns.

        In pre-colonial Africa, 1st contact reports and archaeological evidence suggests that tribal warfare existed since time immemorial. That is true of pre-European contact populations in the Americas as well. At the time of Columbus there were estimated to be 600 different tribes and hundreds of different languages in North America alone.

        There is plenty of evidence to think that warfare between those tribes had been pretty much endemic for much of the previous 10,000 years. They contemporary PC view that the Native Americans (or Africans) were a bunch granola eaters peacefully living in harmony with nature, is just hooey.

    • My first thought was that there is less “a growing appetite for renewable energy” and more “a growing appetite for free money from the developed countries”. Based on past “diversions”, the average African will be lucky if he gets enough money to buy a pack of AA batteries.

  3. Africa needs whatever energy source they can afford. It is not the rest of the world’s responsibility to give them stuff. This is the socialist fallacy, that someone else’s wish is another’s responsibility (to each according to their need, etc.). The best the world can do to help Africa is on the security front, not by subsidizing expensive energy sources. But then again we know greens don’t actually want to help Africans, they just want to feel good about themselves using other people’s money.

    • Correct, giving resource to a country does nothing unless freedom comes with it. Freedom and individual liberty and a willingness to defend others freedoms brings about economic freedom and then economic success not the other way around. sending 60 to 90 billion to these countries will only supply their corrupt regimes with money to continue to brainwash and control the people and lengthen these countries suffering.

      Individual liberty and the ability to benefit from ones own labors is the only thing that brings people out of poverty. Even in the US where we spend trillions on social programs no one ever gets out of poverty because of it, they may have a better substance. Yet before we had all of these programs we went from a country where almost everyone was dirt poor to a country where the majority achieved a level of wealth and freedom never before seen in mans history and we at the same time spread our achievements around the world bringing untold millions out of privation. All through the power of individual freedom and liberty that everyone seems to want to give up, how stupid are we. freedom and liberty first economic success comes as a result not the other way round.

  4. I’d hazard that the required (up to and beyond) $90 Billion will be demanded from the European Union and the the UN.

    Tough road ahead when the British … Walk Out The Exit Door.
    Ha ha

    • The UK gives the EU £36,000,000 ($51,000,000) A DAY! And yes, that is after our rebate, so that is the true figure. The EU is going to be short of £36 million a day, and that’s going to hurt.

      • Really? The whole EU budget is only about £110,000,000 a year, so I wonder which city gents are trousering the rest?

      • Really? The whole EU budget is only about £110 bn a year, so I wonder which city gents are trousering the rest?

      • You are, without doubt, a complete idiot. The EU budget was £112,000,000,000 for 2014. You’re such an idiot that you left three zeroes off!

      • Naw you are the idiot. £36m x 365 days = 13,140,000,000. So are you saying that the UK pays ALL the EU budget, and all the other counties pay nothing?

      • Tell you what, Bill. At some point, you are going to realise what you’ve done, and you’re going to whince.

        Right, as you can’t deal with zeroes, let me make it childishly simple for you:
        Britain gives £36 million a day
        x 365 days = £13 billion a year
        That’s thirteen thousand million, Bill.
        The EU’s total budget is £112 billion a year.
        Are you starting to get it now? We give them 8.6% of their total budget.
        If you’re still struggling (yes, you are, aren’t you Bill?) count the number of figures after ’13’ in Britain’s yearly contribution, then count the number of figures after the total EU’s budget ‘112’. Oh, look at that, Bill, it’s nine figures! Nine figures is ‘thousand million’ which is billion, Bill.

        Jesus!

    • … The whole charade was led by China, a rich country somehow perceived as a poor one …

      Stop, you’re both right. China is Two! Two! Two countries in one.

      In terms of GDP, China is the first or second in the world. In terms of GDP per capita, it is 72nd or 83rd. It has a lot of wealthy and middle class people. It has way more people who are quite poor.

      Most of the newly affluent have memories of grinding poverty. I think they can’t believe how lucky they are and they’re sending their kids to the west for education and to create an escape hatch in case things go sideways again.

      Anyone who says they understand China is full of it. My son told me a story of a western scholar who had been living in China for many years.

      When I first moved to China, I thought I could produce an excellent book.

      After I had lived there for a few years, I thought I could produce a good paper.

      Now I don’t think I can produce a cogent sentence.

  5. Eric Worrall,

    Unlike India’s $2.5 trillion dollar estimate, IFS Towers at least offers an instalment plan.

    I assume that’s the total figure for India’s 30% reduction target by 2030, which works out to about $180 billion/yr.

    But it seems doubtful cash strapped Western governments will ever be able to raise the money required to fulfil the report’s ambitions – and this is just the estimated price tag for Africa going green.

    According to the World Bank, the nominal GWP was $76 trillion in 2013. India’s GDP is ~$2.1 trillion and Africa’s ~$2.4 trillion, subtract both those out and we get $71.5 trillion. Divide $260 billion by that figure and the answer is 0.4%. A conservative estimate is that GWP is growing in real terms at a rate of about 3%.

    Being “able to raise the money” is more about political will than it is actual ability to raise the cash. Wake me up when the pricetag on going green exceeds worldwide defence budgets.

      • lee,

        Let’s please attempt some numeracy. Divide $260 billion by $4.5 trillion, and you get 6.2% of Africa and India’s combined GDP to hit their 2030 emissions target. Steep, but certainly not their entire GDP.

    • Sweet … The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee members’ total budget reached 132 billion dollars in 2015 (source – the comittee). So we got this Brandon just get them to send the entire budget each year to Africa.

      Problem solved lets all move on.

      • LdB,

        The point of the article Worrall cited is that the OECD’s DAC may be under budget. It also said that it wasn’t clear if India’s estimate was the amount they’d need external assistance to hit, or if it was a total amount for which some unspecified portion they’d be able to self-fund.

        I’m not saying it will be easy. I am saying that the reason it won’t happen would more likely be due to lack of political will than actual fiscal ability for developed nations to raise the cash.

        Personally, I think the best option is for the US, Canada, the EU and China to lead. As the cost of solutions comes down — which is a reasonable expectation as technologies are developed and deployed — less developed nations should then find them more affordable.

        As ever, the main problem is that, on balance, more developed nations’ current commitments fall well shy of staying under a 2-degree threshold, to say nothing of the freshly-minted lower 1.5-degree target.

    • But Brandon, you’re assuming we need to waste these eye-watering amounts on useless green tech.
      It may shock you to know this, but we don’t. Instead we need to spend it on feeding the starving, supplying them with clean drinking water, and providing them with cheap power which would mostly be provided by coal.
      Get in the real world Brandon, not a world powered by fairies’ breath and unicorn farts.

      • Instead we need to spend it on feeding the starving, supplying them with clean drinking water, and providing them with cheap power which would mostly be provided by coal.

        The founding of the Country of Liberia, on Africa’s east coast, was an utter failure in the attempt to create a self-governing, self-supporting civilized nation on the African continent …… so you are only wasting your time and money via any attempts at “re-edu-macating” the populace of any of the current African Nations or combinations of said.

        If not for the “heavy handedness” of the Europeans in the early days ……. then southern Africa would still be a “dark jungle” of warmongering tribes trying to kill one another for “territory control”.

      • David Smith,

        Instead we need to spend it on feeding the starving, supplying them with clean drinking water, and providing them with cheap power which would mostly be provided by coal.

        Yes, because before the cost estimates for transitioning to non-fossil sources of energy came in, we were so concerned about starving Africans and their relative lack of modern conveniences like a reliable national utility industry. I mean seriously, the same contingent that constantly complains about freeloading welfare queens, mandated universal healthcare, food stamps, social security for elderly retirees, etc. for their own countrymen suddenly wants to feed Africa and “give” them the “benefits” of coal?

        Pull my other one. You could not be more transparently full of crap if you tried.

      • Samuel C Cogar,

        For once I find myself somewhat in agreement with you. It’s not just Liberia either. As the British pulled up their colonial stakes across Africa, they advised the emerging local powers to redraw the externally-defined borders to reflect historical and more traditional tribal boundaries. They did not for reasons which are not fully clear to me, but plausibly range from it being the path of least resistance to thinking that if divide and conquer worked for the Europeans, it would work for them as well. Whatever the case, subsequent history has shown that it was a bad call.

        Anyway, point I’d work toward is that nobody’s been hiding fossil fuels from Africans. Cheap energy means little to people in a subsistence economy who are not fortunate enough to have the societal stability to fund, deploy and maintain the required infrastructure to maximize it. It’s difficult to “take away” something from people who by and large are not utilizing it on a scale that more developed nations are.

        I’m of the mind that developed nations should look to reducing their own emissions first. With any luck, but the time more areas of Africa are better able to utilize energy on a sustained industrial scale, non-fossil alternatives will be closer to, if not at parity with, traditional energy sources.

        In short, I don’t entirely disagree with the notion that other forms of aid to Africa might take precedence over modernizing their energy economy. I do disagree with the notion that it would be an utter waste for them to try it with some level of outside assistance — especially if that assistance comes in large part from their former European masters.

    • BG, your comment is meaningless. First identify who gets paid by whom, not global GDP! Then no longer look at GDP, as this includes government spending and debt, but look at GDP sans government spending. Then figure out the tax requirements to raise such capitol, and the resulting economic collapse form the economic disruption and the mal-investment into ineffective energy and the cost to run it.

      • David A,

        Then figure out the tax requirements to raise such capitol, and the resulting economic collapse form the economic disruption and the mal-investment into ineffective energy and the cost to run it.

        Not that we’re being alarmist or anything. Do you know what the highest marginal tax rate in the US was during WWII? Ever hear about rationing? Did you somewhere along the way become aware that not only did the US provide materiel above and beyond what we ourselves used in the field to our allies, we also lent them then unheard of amounts of capital for them to feed to their own industrial output? Have you grokked that much of that materiel was either destroyed for a total loss or surplussed below cost once the hostilities were ended? Do you get it that in the middle of all that hardship, we still managed to invent and successfully deploy the world’s first operational nuclear weapons against an entrenched and fanatical enemy who might not have otherwise surrendered?

        Need I remind you that we emerged from that supreme financial hardship as one of two global super powers, from which we then went on to obtain almost complete global economic dominance?

        I find your lack of faith disturbing, and your timid sense of mediocrity distasteful.

    • Brandon
      Being “able to raise the money” is more about political will than it is actual ability to raise the cash. Wake me up when the pricetag on going green exceeds worldwide defence budgets.

      Defense budgets are useful . They allow you to sleep relatively safe in your home.

      Money spent on “GEEN ENERGY” on the other hand is money thrown away and leads to you not being able to heat or light your home or having a job.

      • Matt Bergin,

        Defense budgets are useful . They allow you to sleep relatively safe in your home.

        I’m well aware of that. They also create jobs.

        Money spent on “GREEN ENERGY” on the other hand is money thrown away and leads to you not being able to heat or light your home or having a job.

        Recall that fossil fuels didn’t become “economically viable” until demand for whale oil began to exceed supply … and they still enjoy healthy subsidies.

        Technology development has a proven track record of paying off in the long run. Join the 21st century already.

        That should be “GREEN ENERGY”. I really should proof-read.

        Hey, typos happen … I would know.

      • Fossil fuels companies don’t get subsidies. They get a tax wright off for the depreciation of their properties as they remove the oil from them. That is not a subsidy because the property’s value has decreased so the taxes are less. Wind and solar power are far from emerging technology. Humans gave up on wind power over 200 years ago when we harnessed fossil fuels. Solar power is not concentrated enough or reliable enough to provide base power and there is no viable storage solution. Our present “GREEN ENERGY” products are dead end technology.

      • Matt,
        Oil depletion allowance was eliminated for big companies in the 70’s and for any company who also owned a refinery thus discouraging the building of refineries. How did that work out for the public? Years with no new Refineries!
        The left still repeat the old write off knowing it is a lie since there are no actual subsidies to mention. Stupid people believe mother Jones and other progressive web site that are short on facts and intentionally misinform the public.
        Every other industry is allowed to write off depletion of their resources which they paid handsome government fees to explore and produce, such as mining.
        http://www.britannica.com/topic/depletion-allowance
        https://anticorruptionsociety.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/the-oil-depletion-allowance.pdf

      • Matt Bergin,

        Fossil fuels companies don’t get subsidies. They get a tax write off for the depreciation of their properties as they remove the oil from them. That is not a subsidy because the property’s value has decreased so the taxes are less.

        The Feds (well the Federal Treasury at any rate) entitles the document, United States ‒ Progress Report on Fossil Fuel Subsidies, but changes the language in the body of the document to things such as:

        1) Fossil Fuel Provisions
        2) Production Fossil Fuel Subsidies
        3) fossil fuel production tax provisions

        There are deductions (in lieu of capitalization), exceptions, accelerated amortizations, intangible costs (the second cousin of externalized costs?), capital gains treatments …

        … no matter what one calls it, it’s money that stays with producers instead of ending up in public coffers. I’m not wholly opposed to such things when it enables the stability of strategic resources. The trick is ferreting out the necessary from the “we got this because our lobbyists are worth every penny”. On that note …

        … I’m pretty sure athletic footwear isn’t a strategic resource. The list of other financially unviable technologies is interesting. Passenger airliners (and their operating companies) isn’t exactly a shocker. See the WaPo article for more details. It would be interesting to see the aggregate rankings at the national level, and with annualized amounts in addition to the lifetime total. But I’m too lazy at the moment to go hunting for one.

        Point again is: even well-established industries get Federal assistance in one form or another. Picking on emerging new energy technologies strikes me as positively un-American.

        I did it again. That should read “write off”.

        No worries, it never happened.

      • Brandon
        How many hundreds of billions of dollars are paid by the fossil fuel industry to various governments as taxes every year, and you call the governments letting them keep some of their own money a “SUBSIDY”. Question, How much money do the green energy companies contribute to the government in taxes? Far as I can tell the flow of money only flows to green energy.

        Wind is not an emerging technology.

        Though if “you” think it is, and using that as a metric I”ll ask…
        “How about that new bronze stuff? Seems so much better than flint. Keeps a good edge”.
        Neither is solar since I have been watching it emerge my entire life and it wasn’t a new technology then.

      • Matt Bergin,

        How many hundreds of billions of dollars are paid by the fossil fuel industry to various governments as taxes every year, and you call the governments letting them keep some of their own money a “SUBSIDY”.

        And you keep getting hung up on semantics. Let the record show what I actually wrote:

        The Feds (well the Federal Treasury at any rate) entitles the document, United States ‒ Progress Report on Fossil Fuel Subsidies, but changes the language in the body of the document to things such as:

        1) Fossil Fuel Provisions
        2) Production Fossil Fuel Subsidies
        3) fossil fuel production tax provisions

        There are deductions (in lieu of capitalization), exceptions, accelerated amortizations, intangible costs (the second cousin of externalized costs?), capital gains treatments …

        Item (3) is a production tax credit, or PTC, which is quite similar to what wind farms get. My original point stands: whatever we call it, the net result of a tax credit or a subsidy is less money in the public coffer that could be used for something else. Like reducing budget deficits for instance.

        Obviously in absolute terms, more taxes are paid on fossil fuels by producers and consumers both by simple virtue that the vast majority of energy consumption comes from them.

        Wind is not an emerging technology.

        It is relative to fossil energy in terms of market penetration.

        Question, How much money do the green energy companies contribute to the government in taxes?

        Far as I can tell, that’s a difficult question to answer because, among other things, US publicly-traded companies are not required to publish their tax returns.

        Far as I can tell the flow of money only flows to green energy.

        Assuming that’s true for sake of argument, no laws are preventing major fossil energy companies from getting their slice of that pie … and it could be rather substantial pie for companies looking to get some.

        Scanning financials for some publicly traded US wind/solar companies, I’m not finding any that have a negative tax burden … not even ones running a before-tax loss. But there’s no way to tell how much of that is federal vs. state and local burden for things like payroll and property taxes.

        Doing the research for this note, I ran across this interesting blurb from Roal Dutch Shell:

        We recognise the significance of climate change, along with the role energy plays in helping people achieve and maintain a good quality of life. A key role for society – and for Shell – is to find ways to provide much more energy with less carbon dioxide.

        Our lives depend on energy wherever we live. But in order to prosper while tackling climate change, society needs to provide much more energy for a growing global population while finding ways to emit much less CO2.

        Shell has long recognised the climate challenge and the role of energy in enabling a decent quality of life. We believe that, while technological developments will emerge, effective policy and cultural change is essential to drive low-carbon business and consumer choices and opportunities. The transition to low-carbon solutions is best underpinned by meaningful government-led carbon “pricing” mechanisms.

        We welcome the efforts made by governments to cooperatively reach the global climate agreement and support long-term climate goals that balance environmental pressures with development opportunities. The Paris Agreement of December 12, 2015, could provide greater certainty about how the world can provide more energy with much less CO2.

        Today, Shell is still primarily an oil and gas company, but we have a long tradition of innovation. We know that long-term success depends on our ability to anticipate the types of energy and fuels people will need in the future and remain commercially competitive and environmentally relevant.

        Our natural gas businesses give governments the option to reduce emissions from electricity, by replacing coal, and we have an interest in a wind business with over 1,000 megawatts of capacity. We have also invested heavily in the lowest-carbon biofuel, through our Raízen joint venture with Cosan in Brazil, and we continue to explore second-generation biofuels options. More recently we have piloted a number of projects to bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) to shipping and trucking customers and, in 2015, we announced the first nationwide hydrogen-electric fuel network in Germany.

        Shell is a long-time supporter of government-led carbon “pricing” mechanisms. We have a number of vehicles to support investment in new technology, such as Shell Technology Ventures (STV) – a venture capital body with an investment focus on a mix of traditional oil and gas, clean and green technology. In recent years, STV has supported both solar-based and wind businesses.

        We are also committed to reducing our emissions intensity and continuing efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our operations as well as ending continuous flaring.

        Shell Scenarios and pathways to decarbonisation

        Shell Scenarios* envisage a future where renewable energies could eventually become the largest component of the global energy system. But, despite the rapid growth of renewables, they anticipate that it will only be possible to provide the full range of energy products by combining renewables with cleaner hydrocarbons such as natural gas, and deploying technology to capture and store emissions of CO2.

        To achieve such an outcome for a global population of at least 9 billion by mid-century will require an enormous global undertaking supported by effective policy, a sense of urgency, and long-term vision.

        According to Shell Scenarios, the energy system of the future will be something of a patchwork. Some countries and sectors of the economy could de-carbonise in the coming decades, while others – such as energy intensive heavy industries – will likely require more time to develop technology solutions.

        Ways society can move towards a lower-carbon future include improving energy efficiency, switching from coal to natural gas, increasing electrification and the use of renewables. Further options include boosting the use of low-carbon fuels, rethinking land-use and agrarian policies, and improving low-carbon infrastructure planning for cities and transit systems.

        Shell Scenarios suggest that the world will require means of achieving “negative” emissions in some sectors to offset remaining emissions. One way to do this is to combine sustainable biomass gasification with the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) in power generation.

        I think they see the writing on the wall, and aren’t going to be left out of the action — as they should not.

      • First you have to be able to show any negative from CO2’s increase in the atmosphere of one part in ten thousand. So far I have only seen positives like increased crop yields.
        I don’t want low carbon I want high carbon it is the only way to save our world. CO2 is the basic building block of carbon based life.
        It is humans job to return the CO2 back to the atmosphere to complete the carbon cycle so that carbon based life ( The majority of life on this planet) can continue to live and prosper. When the earth entered this inter-glacial the CO2 level was 180ppm this is very close to the 150ppm photosynthesis cut-off point where all carbon based life forms will die. If we don’t do our part and return the CO2 the plants sequester back to the atmosphere the next time we drop back into our planets continuing ice age, carbon based life may not come back in the next inter-glacial.
        Shell are only spouting the words they think will keep the “GREEN HORDE” off of their backs. Otherwise it is business as usual pumping the oil and gas, refining and sending it to market.
        I think you should read Google’s report on renewable energy. I think they covered most of the problems in there. But remember when you read the report as they are on your side, so it hurt to state what they wrote.

        Matt

      • Also wind generation doesn’t make any money so it doesn’t have pay any taxes. Lets get this straight
        Wind = no profit = no taxes = lives by government subsidy (government gives them tax money)
        Gas/Oil = tons of profit = 100’s billions in taxes = Government lets them keep some of their own money. Some “deliberately obtuse” people consider this a subsidy even though it is not tax money.

    • Funny how trolls always assume that there is enough money available for their wish lists, all that’s needed is for someone else to gather the will to go out and collect it.
      It’s always the same with socialists.
      As to the crack about defense budgets, typical socialist nonsense.

      • MarkW,

        Funny how trolls always assume …

        I’m 100% on-topic. That you don’t like my arguments and resort to schoolyard taunting doesn’t make me the troll here. Just sayin’.

        … that there is enough money available for their wish lists, all that’s needed is for someone else to gather the will to go out and collect it.

        Your evidence that I’m not willing to pull my own weight to cover the costs comes from where again? Oh, you pulled it out of your hindquarters? Shocker.

        It’s always the same with socialists.

        More sweeping generalizations, but hey, two can play that game. Shall we talk about how delusional laissez-faire capitalists who have draughted a bit too deeply from the Randian Kool-Aid don’t see the parallel between unmitigated income inequality and Feudalism?

        As to the crack about defense budgets, typical socialist nonsense.

        Typical free marketist misunderstanding. Point was that we don’t have an issue raising very large amounts of capital for things we want to fund. What “we can’t afford green energy” really means is “we don’t want to fund green energy”.

        Ever hear of “Military Keynesianism”? If you really looking for a good way to troll radical leftists (i.e., someone who is NOT me) drop that concept on them.

  6. Apart from the fundamental stupidity of doing it in the first place, how is any of this going to be maintained? African nations have shown a total inability to maintain infrastructure created or handed over.

    • Not just Africa. All over the third world the problem remains the same. Funding is provided for construction, but not for ongoing maintenance, which over the lifetime of a project can exceed the initial funding.

      So for example, money is provided to build a hotel. The hotel opens and for awhile all goes well. Then things start to break down. But there is no money for spares. All the profit is going to pay the loans. So less desirable rooms are closed and cannibalized to keep the other rooms open.

      Eventually people stop coming to the hotel as it deteriorates, the company owning the hotel goes bankrupt and squatters move in. The land cannot be sold to other developers, because the debt owed by the bankrupt company to government must first be paid, which exceeds the value of the land. So it sits year after year.

      Anyone that thinks outside funding will solve this problem is sadly mistaken. The problem is profit. Without profit there is no money for maintenance, and all these grand plans to save the planet will fail. Africa, Asia, Central America. The more they differ, the more they are the same.

  7. Hi,
    Looking at the numbers this report suggests that renewable energy is surprisingly affordable. According to
    wikipedia the GDP of Africa is 2.39 trillion. So 90 billion a year is just under 4% of the GDP. So given the
    expected return from the increase in productivity from making electricity available to everyone, not to mention the health benefits, spending 4% of the total GDP on renewable energy is a bargain. That said what the report does not mention is the cost of providing the same amount of energy using coal/ gas etc.

    • Hey Geromino,
      If it’s so d@mn affordable, at 4% of African’s GDP, why don’t they do it THEMSELVES ? ? ?
      Why do they need dollars from the West ? Just cut their GDP by 4%, after all that is just a tiny bit, isn’t it . . ? And BINGO, they can do it all themselves.

      • Well if you read the report instead of the biased headline you would notice that there is
        notice in there about aid, it is all about investment. The report was written by the economist
        which is hardly likely to come down in favour of foreign aid. Rather it is written to suggest that
        this would be a sensible investment and would produce long term growth. And it would appear
        to suggest that venture capital firms should be doing it ( but again what you expect from the
        Economist).

    • $90B is just what is needed to backfill the shortfall for adding capacity.Add that to what they already spend. After that, they still have to pay for power consumed. Also, they don’t have a lot of heavy industry. With this plan they never will. Down the road, when Western support evaporate the Africans will be left to figure out how to cope with an expensive, problematic system.
      I’m sure they can find enough corrupt politicians to make this happen but for the sake of the Africans I hope they realize this would retard African development for half a century. IHS Towers has a plan to benefit from this economic travesty, I guarantee it! Africans should figure out how and throw their executives in jail.

    • “Looking at the numbers this report suggests that renewable energy is surprisingly affordable …”.
      ===================================
      There is no basis of comparison because they perform different functions.
      Traditional energy sources, fossil, nuclear, hydro and geothermal where possible, supply reliable affordable base load power that any developing or developed country needs in abundance.
      ‘Renewables’ i.e. solar and wind are simply boutique electricity sources that serve a complicated function including atonement for guilt felt by the governing class, but actually paid by the relatively poor, in Western countries.
      A claimed energy source that doesn’t work is unaffordable at any price.

      • guilt felt by the governing class, but actually paid by the relatively poor, in Western countries.
        =====================
        yes, one of my well off relatives in the UK that installed a subsidized solar system on his house didn’t like me pointing out that his energy needs were being met by the taxpayers of the UK, most of whom were poorer than he was. In effect, he was a reverse Robin Hood. Taking from the poor and giving to the rich, and the government was aiding and abetting him in this.

        The most obvious part was that the system was unsustainable. The UK at some point cannot continue to subsidize solar installations, because if it did and 100% of all houses went solar, then taxes would have to rise such that every taxpayer would end up paying 100% of the cost of installation, and there would be no subsidy.

        So by necessity the subsidy program will end before 100% of all houses are solar, which means that only those wealthy enough to get in on the ground floor are going to benefit, and those without resources will end up being the ones that suffer. They will pay their taxes but get none of the benefits. Except that the world will be 0.00000001C colder, and they will have to pay more to heat their house.

  8. For the first four days of June the wind turbines in SE Aust. have been operating between 5% and 20% of their rated capacity. That is for 3669 MW of capacity production between 180 and 730 MW.

    My question is how is it possible to base a modern economy on an intermittent electricity supply such as wind, or solar for that matter, when there are far more reliable options such as coal and hydro available?

    • “how is it possible to base a modern economy on an intermittent electricity supply such as wind, or solar”

      South Australia doesn’t have a modern economy, so it’s a moot point.

    • if the wind operators had to compete at the wholesale spot price of power, as do all other producers, they would go out of business within weeks if not days. It is only by guaranteeing wind producers prices regardless of supply and demand that they can operate.

      The net effect of subsidizing wind producers is to destabilize the wholesale price of power for other producers. Long before the electrical supply destabilizes, the wholesale price destabilizes, and this has the effect of driving other producers of electricity out of business. As more and more producers go bankrupt, eventually the wholesale price rises to the point that the remaining producers can survive.

      the net effect, huge increases in the retail price of power, combine with huge reductions in supply. By adding subsidized “free” wind power, rates will increase not decrease, and supply will contract.

  9. “Africa requires between $60 and $90 billion annually to address its energy shortfall….”

    People talk about Africa as if it were a single country. For those who are unaware, it’s a huge continent with lots of countries and lots of peoples. Where would all this money go? To which countries, for what projects? What happens when other countries start clamoring about not getting their “fair share?” Who will be held accountable when huge sums disappear down the black hole of corruption?

    The best solution for Africa is to let African nations solve their own problems.

    • There is an economist from Kenya who has been saying the same thing for over a decade: if people want the African countries to improve economically and in terms of quality of life, they need to stop or minimize the aid. He gives examples of how native industries are destroyed because they cannot compete with the “free” aid from the developed world, how such aid makes real entrepreneurship difficult to impossible, and other problems that the aid actually causes. He also details how the extent of many disasters is exaggerated in order to obtain more aid, so that more money can be skimmed off the top by each layer of bureaucracy.

      I really appreciate these questions he poses: Why do people send clothes to Africa? Do they think Africans do not know how to make clothes?

      We really do provide some stupid aid.

    • Why don’t we let the people who actually earned that $60 to $90 billion keep the money and decide for themselves what they want to do with it?

      • Mark W

        “Why don’t we let the people who actually earned that $60 to $90 billion keep the money and decide for themselves what they want to do with it?”

        What a stupid idea, how the hell are political leaders going to get rich if they don’t have the money to steal from the people who make it in the first place. Duh!

  10. Why on Earth do renewables need to play a greater role? African countries generally are badly undersupplied with affordable dispatchable power. Ideological furting around with renewables will add more to their misery than to their power supply. $90bn/yr would provide nearly 1bn MWh/yr if used for coal-fired power, maybe 50% more MWh using gas, and that power would be available when it was needed (“dispatchable”).
    http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/studies/levelized-cost-of-new-generating-technologies/
    It’s time to remove the stranglehold that green madness has everywhere, but especially in Africa where the people who are most damaged by it are it seems least able to resist.

    • “Renewables have to play a greater role” is the daily refrain on the MSM (heard it on the BBC just an hour ago) and in countless reports funded by … no prizes for guessing. It is the new religion, and just as useless as all the other ones.

    • All you need to know is that even with African labour costs, in a place that is starved for power, it requires heavy subsidies.

  11. “Renewables can increase energy security”. Not if it’s wind or solar or needs a subsidy.

    Two definitions of energy security are:
    A secure energy system is one that is able to meet the needs of people and organisations for energy services such as heating, lighting, powering appliances and transportation, in a reliable and affordable way both now and in the future”.
    and
    “The uninterrupted physical availability [of energy] at a price which is affordable, while respecting environment concerns”.

    • I do not know about anyone else, but I do not EVER want to go to a hospital that is solar-powered.

      Actually, I do not want ANYONE to have to go to a hospital that is solar-powered.

  12. “including Goldman Sachs, ”
    Who the Australian prime minister worked for and has introduced an emissions trading scheme by stealth starting on the 2nd of July.
    And that’s after the politicians were explicitly told at the last election,we don’t want a bar of of your global warming taxes in any shape or form!
    How do we stop the barstards when the two dominant partys in this country(Australia) simply ignore the will of the majority!?

  13. Africa should be treated like some pariah state until it changes its ways. It’s forever holding out a begging bowl and is stuck in a past-time in so many ways. I saw a world map a few days ago indicating where being gay is an offence. No prizes for guessing where the central ‘problem’ is. If you aid Africa, in any way, then it will NEVER change. Bob Geldof (being the total gimp he is) has never understood this.

  14. ‘Africa’ has just published a report has it?
    Fascinating.
    Is that The United States of Africa…or just a lousy headline?

    • No-one but the true green crazies are stupid enough to believe you could do it. That leaves out the thorny political question of is it our responsibility to do so.

  15. I am thinking we should start a bleeding heart organization which allows people to adopt a solar PV system for 3rd world countries. Advertise it in all the right green places and I am sure we can get some takers. Might even be some jet travel to be had to oversee the operation.

    If the greens think they can get the political will to get a tax or payment for this then those people should also be willing to donate more directly.

    • You could contribute to this organisation:
      http://www.solar-aid.org/about/

      This sells solar lights (with phone chargers) to replace kerosene lights.

      (Kerosene lights are dangerous and harmful to health, plus kerosene is expensive and paying for it causes fuel poverty).

      Please read the detail and tell me why this is not a worthwhile enterprise…

      • Right, so now you need to scale that up to power heavy industry.
        Yeah, that’ll work. LOL!

      • I didn’t say the idea wasn’t worthwhile it makes more sense than wasting your time dribbling on about something that is never going to happen on an internet forum. You think that people can be convinced that any of your half baked ideas will work then knock your socks off and go do it.

        Are you a doer or a dribbler Griff?

      • why this is not a worthwhile enterprise
        ============================
        the net effect of this charity is to drive out of business any Africa company that might wish to produce solar lights for people in Africa, because no one can compete with free.

        so by providing a hand-out, people in the UK are driving people out of business in Africa. The same thing happens when we send food to Africa. Local prices crash, local farmers go out of business, and the local people are left with no food except that provided free by the charity.

        So we blame African’s for their problems, without understanding that our interference often creates more problems than it solves.

      • David

        you aren’t thinking about what is on the ground – what is on the ground is millions of people with only kerosene light… these are not going to have a line of pylons and a coal plant any time soon -they didn’t get it in the last 50 years.

        The industry level – as well as offices, schools, hospitals – can run during the day off solar, where now there is no power or diesel or an intermittent grid. And there are solutions for evening too…

        Ferd – read it again: this charity is establishing people in business – it deliberately sells lights at a reasonable cost rather than give them away… it is founding a level of small business. It is not the only such charity.

        LdB – I’m backing practical solutions, sometimes donating towards same. You are joining those complaining Africans are just a bottomless pit for money, where nothing ever changes?

    • Renewables can increase energy security… and de-risk the energy mix.
      =================
      That statement is absurd. Renewables destabilize the wholesale price, driving reliable producer’s out of the market, decreasing energy security and increasing risk.

      Just look at what is happening in the UK as the government is now finding itself having to pay businesses to shut down and not use power, and having to pay fossil fuel power producers to stay in operation.

      So not only is the UK paying for wind-mills, they are also having to subsidize people to do nothing, and pay other people to operate at a loss. That is a completely unsustainable situation.

      You cannot fight economics. All the grand plans in the world are useless if you don’t have the money to implement them.

      • There was an article in WaPo a few years ago about factories in France that had converted to be more environmentally friendly. These factories were most efficient when they could leave their energy systems running all the time, but French regulations forbade the practice. As a result, the factories’ investments were worthless, and companies that outsourced their factories to cheaper, less regulated places (like Africa) were able to undercut prices, making it difficult for the “green” factories to turn enough of a profit to pay for their upgrades.

        The sad thing is that the factory improvements actually would have made a difference in terms of energy usage and pollution had the factories been allowed to use them as designed. Despite all the music about going green and having environmentally friendly policies, “environmentally friendly” regulations were stopping businesses from actually doing anything. The green policies had the effect of punishing companies that attempted to truly go green and rewarded companies that jettisoned French jobs and increased pollution.

        Sometimes the government really needs to get out of the way.

  16. Through off-grid technologies, they can provide direct,affordable power to rural regions beyond the reach of the grid system.

    But to harness renewables at scale, very significant infrastructure is needed: both core assets like wind and solar farms and transmission grids, as well as connective infrastructures, like roads to and from sites for transporting kit and manpower, or for bringing products, like solar-powered mobile phones, to market.

    So solar is useful to provide off-grid power to communities far from the grid but they need to invest in transmission grids, as well as connective infrastructures, like roads to benefit from being off grid and for companies to be able to distribute solar powered mobile phones to them.

    What a convoluted crock.

    Clearly there is another agenda behind what is being proposed here and spun as ‘renewables’ and energy security, blah…

    Since it is the Economist, they are probably really just trying to dress up ramping up consumerism in African market since the west is just about saturated and ready to cave in.

  17. “Africa has just produced a report which estimates between $60 – $90 billion per year will be required for Africa’s green energy revolution.”

    Well that is nothing. I just produced a report which claims I need $250 billion a year just to live in the style that I would like to become accustomed to. I expect the money to start rolling in very soon. Send the money to our host, and he can keep 10% for his troubles, and I’ll make sure the rest is well spent.

    As to Africa, if the white man would leave them alone they would find their way. Politics is the main cause of famine in Africa —- and backwardness also.

  18. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
    The UN energy policy is based on giving Africa a $90 billion fish every year. This only guarantees that, metaphorically speaking, they will never learn to fish for themselves.

    • There’s a South African addition to that. It goes:
      “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
      Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
      Take the fish away and give it to someone else, and he’ll vote for you.”

  19. Commenters here seem to have missed some important points about providing power in Africa…

    Many African nations have no natural gas of their own, or coal, and the cost of importing fuel to a developing nation would be prohibitive. Morocco is answering this by building solar CSP, which can be built and maintained by local labour and also provides power into the night.

    Also there is usually a complete absence of power grids outside (some) cities – you not only need to build a coal plant, but a power grid. Renewables (solar) mean power can be delivered without the grid.

    And delivered more quickly too: a large solar farm is months not years to build. Rwanda added 10% to its (admittedly tiny) grid with one solar farm built in months…

    Kenya is currently rolling out power to all its citizens, using a combination of sources -geothermal, wind, solar, etc. It can be done… solar used for the off grid areas in particular.

    • You Griff seem to be missing the point, how is this our problem and what does it have to do with us? The argument is we put to much CO2 into the atmosphere and we need to reduce our output as does the rest of the world. Currently via your own statement above these countries are not ever going to emit large amounts of CO2 because they don’t have coal or gas and most certainly can’t afford to buy those in.

      We don’t even have to bother with your idea as it has nothing to do with us, go tell the African nations the great renewable power god is coming to save them. Your speaking to the wrong audience !!!!! It is of no consequence to me whether Africa powers the whole continent by renewable energy other than a fact I might use to win a game of trivial pursuit.

      • I often see expressed in these forums ‘but what about all the people with no electricity -you greenies don’t want them to have our standard of living’. but I do – and this is how they will get it – renewables.

        Co2 is everyones problem (except those who have an alternative science)

      • Griff – Are you sure CO2 a problem?

        Show the data. Especially demonstrate that fossil fuels cause warming through CO2 emissions. What caused the previous warming periods? Perhaps CO2 is a net benefit. Perhaps fossil fuels are a huge benefit. We wouldn’t even be having this discussion without petrochemicals and fossil fuels. No steel, no plastics, no cars, no bicycles, no synthetic rubber tires, no electrical wiring, no grid, no anything modern. Wood and stone. Ever slept in a hut in Africa with your face up against a wall of sticks and mud mixed with animal dung? Ever stayed in an African hotel with charcoal burning in the lobby?

        They have a ways to go, but I doubt very much that not allowing fossil fuels and petrochemicals will help.

    • How exactly does one distribute power without an electrical grid? Unless each household/building/structure has geothermal sources or its own little solar or wind farm, it will need to get the electricity from solar plants or wind farms. Hydropower would need a grid for distribution as well. I am certainly not an expert, so if I am in error, someone please tell me.

      I do not think that solar or wind power is necessarily impractical, but I do think the effectiveness and reliability are limited. There are also many environmental concerns, from bird and bat deaths to land degradation. Put a solar panel on the ground and you may as well have paved that ground. Little, if anything, is going to be able to grow under and around the panel. Besides, if we do not want to have wind farms “spoiling” our landscapes (a complaint that one hears even from supporters), why would Africans, especially if they are not getting the promised power?

      Considering the vast resources that Africa does have, importing coal and/or natural gas should not be out of reach. Unfortunately, the usual problems will get in the way no matter what type of energy sources are used: corruption, governmental inefficiency, and bossy, holier-than-thou politicians from the UN and developed world.

      • Ally – grass grows fine around solar panels… look up ‘solar farm UK’ in google images. Most UK solar farms are grazed. UK doesn’t have a problem with birds/bats either: our planning law sees windfarms are sited where there aren’t birds flying into them – US problems seem to be from older designs put across migration routes (Altamont Pass e.g.)

        Many African nations have no local coal or gas: Morocco for example. And they don’t have the foreign exchange to buy them in..

    • “Griff June 16, 2016 at 4:35 am

      Commenters here seem to have missed some important points about providing power in Africa…

      Many African nations have no natural gas of their own, or coal,…”

      Seriously, Africa has no resources? Too funny and proves you haven’t a clue. Africa is full of resources being exploited by the West and the Chinese at great expense (Meaning they don’t benefit from that resource) to Africans.

  20. there is a growing appetite for renewable energy in Africa.

    This “growing appetite” for renewables wouldn’t have anything to do with the prospect of getting some of that “free” extortion climate money from idiotic, guilt-ridden developed countries now, would it?
    I’ll bet Big Green is chomping at the bit on this though. They have everything to gain, and Africa everything to lose. It’s a brave new snake-oil world out there.

    • And they all get along so well together there. The freedom loving, tolerant, kind, non discriminating Africans. They’ve built such wonderful infrastructures that’s it’s the envy of the world. The advancements and inventions are too numerous to count. The US is so envious that many US cities look just like Africa. It’s such a wonderful improvement! ( sarc)
      They US could give them everything they have, and they’d be right back to where they are now in a few years. They have no concept of time.
      I saw the ads in 1950’s about US aid. Giving local farmers hand tools. I wondered even then why they didn’t focus on tractors, irrigation, packaging, distribution, and transportation systems. As if a shovel makes a big difference.

  21. Sustainable energy is not sustainable with even the best available human resources. It is too costly.

  22. From the article: “Following high-level declarations at the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Conference in late 2015, there is a growing appetite for renewable energy in Africa.”

    The growing appetite is for free money. I would like to have some free money myself.

    article: “Solar and wind are especially promising, thanks to falling costs and resource abundance.”

    Proposing more bird choppers. I saw a headline the other day that claimed 573,000 birds had been chopped by windmills.

    What’s it like underneath these bird-chopping windmills? Is there carrion laying all over the ground underneath the windmills? If so, this must attract more birds to their doom. If not, who cleans all the dead bodies up? What’s it smell like down there?

    Yes, Africa has an abundant resource in its birds, and some humans are proposing to kill millions (tens of millions?) of them by going with windmills, instead of a better, non-lethal electrical generating method.

    • I bet there is a lot of shovel and shut up going on at those wind farms, even with their indulgence, I mean waiver to kill X number of raptors without consequences. Shooting a raptor is bad, but shredding one with a windmill is fine. Consistency at its finest.

      Like many less developed nations, African countries are seeing a decline in vulture populations (and other raptor type birds I believe). Windmills may well accelerate the decline, without providing much energy to offset the losses.

  23. People in Africa living a village life won’t be rushing out to buy fridge freezers, electric cookers or hair driers if power is supplied to them. They can’t afford to pay for the power – forget what you could connect to it.

  24. “there is a growing appetite for renewable energy in Africa.” The only appetite I can see is for $90 billion annually.

    • I can’t help but visualize those reaching hands, on arms belonging to someone like Mugabe.

  25. From the report:
    “Through off-grid technologies, they (renewables) can provide direct,affordable power to rural regions beyond the reach of the grid system.

    But to harness renewables at scale, very significant infrastructure is needed:”

    So, the advantage of renewables is that they don’t require the grid system, however they do require significant infrastructure. Kind of like a grid system?

    • Sort of like; tonight I’ll be making potato leek soup. First I’ll need some potatos and leeks. Oops, need a pot to cook it in. Oops, need a stove. Oops, need some gas. Good thing I’ve got that solar panel though. At least I can have some light. If only I had a light bulb….

    • I would love to know how the infrastructure to support renewable energy sources compares to the infrastructure needed to support more traditional energy sources. I suspect there is not much difference. Roads? Grids? Power plants? Cell towers? Are the trucks and trains going to run on solar power? If the energy is really going to be reliable and constant, either energy storage is going to need to take a great leap forward (not a Mao style leap) or traditional plants will need to be built for backup. Do we really want the power to go out or be unavailable in hospitals? Sorry, the wind is not blowing and it is nighttime so we have no solar power. No surgery for you, dying person!

      • At present the hospital may have no reliable daytime power and what there is might be from expensive to run diesel generators… Cell towers are being run from solar + battery in Africa and India now

        Certainly a lot of the grid infrastructure at the mega scale is not needed (HVDC power lines strung on pylons)

  26. People seem to forget the quotes around “renewables”. Because they aren’t, really. Point one which can be build without fossil fuels and which can be completely recycled…

  27. Make that $200 billion if the green “help” to Africa is first routed through tax credit giveaways to the rich in the U.S. on their behalf. Of course any amount of green giveaway is in addition to a third or fourth round of debt forgiveness for corrupt leaders use of sovereign loans.

  28. Doing business in Africa? Get ready for lots of corruption.
    ——————————–
    Canadian junior miner caught up in corruption, murder scandal in Kenya

    In 2013, the company’s licence for its Mrima Hill niobium project was cancelled by the government under suspicious circumstances, prompting cries of corruption and an international arbitration case being launched against Kenya. But all that turned out to be a precursor to something much worse.

    On May 5, Pacific Wildcat filed all its evidence in Washington for the US$2.1-billion arbitration case. Later that day, a director from its Kenyan unit was shot dead in Nairobi.

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/mining/canadian-junior-miner-caught-up-in-corruption-murder-scandal-in-kenya

    • Politics of gift giving. Everybody gets a gift. And it’s all according to rank. Want to try doing business in Africa without it? It’s on the PERT charts . This guy gets a gift when you want to do that. Graft you say? Corruption? Rampant. It’s an exercise in how not to do business.
      Which country? They do share that same trait, corruption.
      Somebody didn’t get the right gift in Kenya. How dare they insult him like that!

    • I wish that article had a better headline. It makes it sound like the miner was corrupt and had something to do with the murder. These state takeovers are horrible. Allowing companies to find and develop resources, promising licenses and support, then swooping in and confiscating everything is dishonest and unethical. Do your own work if you want so much of the profits.

  29. “In my opinion this report simply adds to the evidence that renewables are utterly unaffordable, even if they were practical from an engineering perspective.”

    Why, just because it’s s big number? And why is it expected that the money has to come from Western governments? The private sector is happy to put it up if they can get a decent return on their money. Indonesia is doing the same thing, telling foreign investors please come invest. From a speech he gave on this topic: “We want to build mass transportation in six big cities in Indonesia. We started in Jakarta last year, and we want to build in Medan, Makassar, Semarang, Bandung [and] Surabaya. So, this is also your opportunity. Because you know our national budget is limited.” And “In five years we want to build 24 seaports and deep seaports. We have 17,000 islands, so we need seaports and deep seaports. And this is your opportunity: 24 seaports and deep seaports.” There’s at least $200B in projects he mentions, most of which he wants to carry out in the next 5-10 years.
    http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/waiting-invest-indonesia-jokowi-tells-apec-speech/

  30. Just think how many grandiose palaces, fleets of personal jets and armoured limousines can be bought for $90B per year!

  31. “Africa has just produced a report” come on guys, I know Americans think of the rest of the world as a giant black hole, but ‘Africa’ is not a country or an entity or whatever that could produce a report. Its a massive continent with dozens of countries. Just sayin’

    • And I very much doubt you have been there, spent time there with various cultures and peoples. Yes Africa is a continent with many different countries.

  32. In my opinion this report simply adds to the evidence that renewables are utterly unaffordable, even if they were practical from an engineering perspective.” ~E. Worrall

    This is such an excellent point and a worthwhile discussion. “From an engineering perspective,” these are neither practical nor sustainable. The truth of the matter is that there is very little Africa can ever do with this kind of energy. While the article quoted does concede that the African continent possesses vast resources, the renewables would ensure that the Africans would never be able to smelt ore. They would not even be able to the produce the worthless windturbines they would be forced to use. Cement, aluminum, steel, coke, coal tar and copper for transmission all require very high temperatures for days to produce. Seabreezes and sunbeams cannot produce these temps at these durations.

    Let’s look at what the 90bn/year in Western dollars is really for. What are they paying for?

    The Boomer Generation was the generation that replaced its parents’ beliefs, principles and life’s accomplishments with their own pet philosophies. Those philosophies are based on the scientific theory of overpopulation and the science of environmentalism. The paradigm shift in science to the Anthropocene Age Paradigm says that all human activity disrupts delicate balances in nature and trigger dangerous “Tipping Points” in natural cycles.

    The Population Bomb never went off. The Boomer Generation must now pay 90 bn per anum in order to create the scarcity that they predicted would come. This kind of fulfillment of their own prophecies has already been partially accomplished in the food supply by spoiled Western environmentalists blocking modern agriculture from reaching the continent. In addition, the Boomers have blocked Britain from all trade deals with the former Commonwealth Countries in order to carry out their EU superstate dream.

  33. Thanks to all the realists (and someone called Griff) who have entertained me with these interesting discussions! I am a South African who hates seeing my tax money wasted on these ludicrous “renewable” energy projects, all of which are hideous eyesores which degrade the environment with huge windmills and hectares of shiny silicon. But no, the “environmentalists” prefer to despoil our coastal areas, deserts and mountain ranges rather than building homes for a few quietly fissioning uranium nuclei or using our enormous coal reserves. Anyway, send the billions no matter what. Let the government plunder those funds rather than my taxes for a while. And yes, Africa is not a country. And no, the Laws of Thermodynamics probably don’t include the concept “renewable”.

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