CO2 Coalition: Clean Coal Technology Can Fight Energy Poverty in Africa

Guest “coal saves lives” by David Middleton

Energy poverty is an actual existential threat to over 1 billion people. Our friends at the CO2 Coalition have a solution to a big part of the problem:

12 NOV, 2020

New-tech American Coal-fired Electricity for Africa: Clean Air, Indoors and Out

African Lives Matter Too

New study shows how American clean coal technology can increase access to electricity and cut deaths from indoor air pollution

Coalition of climate scientists and energy engineers calls on President Trump to “pardon” Africa by ending ban on U.S., World Bank support

Arlington, VA. The CO2 Coalition of 60 climate scientists and energy engineers today released a White Paper showing how American “high efficiency – low emissions” power plants can save lives in Africa. Only a third of Africans have access to electricity, and the World Health Organization estimates that 439,000 Africans die every year because they have to cook in their homes with wood and dried animal dung. According to a top researcher for the WHO, “having an open fire in your kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.”

New-tech American Coal-fired Electricity for Africa: Clean Air, Indoors and Out reports on a field visit and interviews at the “Ultra Super-Critical” John Turk coal-fired power plant that serves Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. The plant eliminates virtually all pollutants from its emissions.

The White Paper reviews ten challenges that the operation of such a plant would face in the African economic and political context, and calls on the U.S. government to support proposals by African governments to import the American technology. Under Obama-era policies that are based on computer models that project a future “climate crisis” from emissions of a non-polluting plant food, carbon dioxide, U.S. foreign aid agencies currently oppose coal-fired electrical generation in Africa.

As the White Paper shows, international energy agencies agree that Africa will continue to use its abundant, inexpensive coal for electricity for decades to come. Unless this American technology is exported, China will build the scores of new power plants without pollution controls.

CO2 Coalition chairman Patrick Moore welcomed the new paper and its proposals: “It is energy madness and carbon colonialism for the United States to block government financing and World Bank support for the very projects that African governments want, and can operate effectively. Access to electricity is a basic right, and the key to health and life expectancy in Africa. As the White Paper concludes, African lives matter, too.” 

The principal researchers for the White Paper are the Honorable Kathleen Hartnett White, formerly Texas’ top pollution regulator as chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Dr. Caleb Stewart Rossiter, formerly a professor of statistics for public policy at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Hartnett White is a Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a member of the CO2 Coalition. Rossiter is the executive director of the CO2 Coalition.  

Hartnett White noted: “Electrical power is the central nervous system of a modern economy and modern life expectancy. Africa’s electricity deficit translates directly into its life-expectancy deficit of 15 years per person.”  Rossiter added: “The scourge of indoor air pollution I’ve seen throughout Africa can be wiped out by universal electrification from coal-fired plants. With American ‘scrubbing’ technology, African governments can also fight another killer at the same time: outdoor air pollution. President Trump should pardon Africa before he leaves office by issuing an executive order reversing U.S. opposition to clean coal projects there.”  

CO2 Coalition

The white paper can be downloaded here: American Coal-fired Electricity for Africa.

The 600 MW John Turk coal-fired power plant in Hempstead Country, Arkansas went online in December 2012 was the first modern US power plant to utilize ultrasupercritical (USC) boiler technology. It was the winner of POWER’s 2013 Plant of the Year Award. It is one of the most efficient, cleanest coal-fired power plants in the world.

Irrespective of whether or not the war on coal in America resumes in January 2021, the developing world will continue to build out coal-fired power plants for decades to come. The United States can either assist these nations in building out clean coal infrastructure or sit back and watch Red China do it… with somewhat less regard for the environment.

1 1 vote
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ron Long
November 17, 2020 2:43 am

I am totally in favor of building clean, modern, coal-fired electricity plants in energy-poor regions of Africa. However, the IMF and World Bank, supported by USA policies, are reluctant to send their money into corruption hot spots, which includes more than half of the countries in Africa. Try consulting Transparency International for corruption indexes. I write from personal experience having faced corruption on an unbelievable scale, like “give me a million dollars and we’ll talk”, when I was offering hospitals and technical schools.

Charles Fairbairn
Reply to  Ron Long
November 17, 2020 3:20 am

Agree. Having observed the climate debate for some 12 years now out of curiosity I have concluded that it is riddled with both intellectual and financial corruption from head to toe. The whole scenario has now morphed into a political battleground with the science now merely the football in the agendas for getting hold of the global levers of power.
Am I being cynical here?

Reply to  Charles Fairbairn
November 17, 2020 5:10 pm

Am I being cynical here?


Reply to  Charles Fairbairn
November 19, 2020 8:49 am

Nope, you’re right on. As a former PE, I’m also cynical seeing such corruption, especially invading formerly non-political engineering practices.

November 17, 2020 3:17 am

India and China know coal is the best option going forward. Why waste your time on unreliable energy like solar and wind?

Reply to  Derg
November 17, 2020 3:42 am

Is that so?

How come then China and India install so much wind and solar?

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 4:29 am

They still have normal energy sources.

Peter W
Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 4:32 am

How come China is installing so much coal?

Reply to  Peter W
November 17, 2020 4:58 am


Reply to  Peter W
November 17, 2020 5:25 am

Since reaching the one-gigawatt milestone in 2017 (enough energy to power 100 million LED home light bulbs), progress has been rampant. China is now the world’s leader in new offshore wind installations. By 2030, it’s expected to reach a 52-gigawatt capacity. “Amid climate change, the big drive was the government wanting to develop a new industry, create jobs and economic growth while reducing coal production,” says Feng Zhao, strategy director at the Global Wind Energy Council.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 6:11 am

Why believe anything the Chinese government say? They are murdering liars.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 6:28 am

A whole 52GW nameplate capacity by 2030 Assuming you aren’t a complete dropkick you would know to de-rate to 30% for what to expect for the year … so about 17GW.

However lets go beyond that
Q: want to guess what the installed non renewable capacity is?
A: 2000MW.
Q: Guess how much they added in 2019?
A: 110GW yes thats twice the 2030 target.
Q: Want to guess what the current coal generation is?
A: 1010GW or 53% of total generation

So ready for the maths
50GW in 10 Years … how long to replace the coal 1010/50 * 10 = 202 years
How long to replace all 2000GW … 400years

Has your little greentard brain now worked out the scale of the problem???.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 1:43 pm

“By 2030, it’s expected to reach a 52-gigawatt capacity”

So total 52GW at 30% of nameplate = 17GW close enough)

Meanwhile China is ADDING some 250GW of coal fired over the next few years.

So coal is INCREASING at round 14 times the total of wind in 2030.

You have made a fool of yourself, as always, halfrunt !

mike macray
Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 5:17 am

..”How come then China and India install so much wind and solar?’
Because it keeps the useful idiots happy, and at 2% of supply is irrelevent!

Reply to  mike macray
November 17, 2020 6:30 am

Yeah Griff and Ghal have so little understanding it they can’t even get the problem. I did the calc above at that rate it takes 400years to reach current capacity.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 6:26 am

It must go with their moral authority.

After all, a political philosophy that has executed about 100 million of its people and today imprisons over a million, for thought crimes, and harvests organs at will from captives can’t be all bad.

Rick C PE
Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 6:43 am

Virtue signaling.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 8:03 am


Bruce Cobb
Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 8:48 am

1. Define “so much”.
2. They know how to play the Climate Game.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 12:24 pm

China are installing FIVE TIMES AS MUCH NEW COAL as will be their total of wind by 2030.

You have been FOOLED by your comrades feeding you BS. !!

Nothing unusual there, hey griff.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 17, 2020 3:19 am

Fragment from

Coal is being used at record levels across Africa, and from Poland to Bangladesh, and it’s unconscionable to pump tons of smoke into the air when we have the technology to limit and contain these emissions.

Ignorance or unwillingness to look into actual existing technology and factual reality, is one of many problems around both coal and nuclear.
Even the now closed coal fired power plant, Svanemælleverket, north of Copenhagen was equipped with electrostatic filters to harvest fly ash and other stuff out of the exhaust. I saw the filter personally in the 1970s, but Danes were actually pretty wealthy back then, therefore they invested in a very clean environment.

Meanwhile the filtering technique and burning process has improved considerable, but this is not a free lunch.

No matter if the Chinese or the Americans invest and build a coal fired grid in infrastructure, there should be a pressure to use quality equipment that reasonable minimize pollution.
The big question is if the investors will live up to this. Remember that a lot of African states does not have a lot of wealth and may save where they can.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 17, 2020 7:08 am

Ghalfrunt & Griffy-poo:

“..More disconcerting, however, is the environmental impact of these chemicals. Based on installed capacity and power-related weight, we can estimate that by 2016, photovoltaics had spread about 11,000 tons of lead and about 800 tons of cadmium. A hazard summary of cadmium compounds produced by the EPA points out that exposure to cadmium can lead to serious lung irritation and long-lasting impairment of pulmonary functions. Exposure to lead hardly needs further explanation…”

Solar panels leave toxic waste behind during the raw material mining, manufacturing and end-of-life stages. The quote above is just the tip of the iceberg. Recycling them is an issue…

From the link above…
“..This mirrors an answer given by Cara Libby, Senior Technical Leader of Solar Energy at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), who admits that there is no lucrative amount of salvageable parts on any type of solar panel…”

The article talks about mandating some type of recycling in Europe because it is NOT economical for the market to do it on its own which, of course, adds to the cost of solar when all is said and done.

The more I learn about them, the more solar panels sound like a toxic nightmare. If the West has a problem with the toxic nature of solar panels, how in this world do you expect the African nations to deal with the problem?

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 17, 2020 9:44 am

Comment is in the wrong place. Meant to reply to Griff and Ghalfrunt below.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 17, 2020 3:23 pm

You are at a time in history when misinformation is widespread.
Please do not add to this spread.
Please research the actual danger of Pb lead, before you add to its demonizing as a knee jerk repetition of the propaganda of others.
The hysteria about Pb is based on blood tests being above or below an ordained level. Try to find in the literature, any nmbers about people needing treatment, or people dying from Pb toxicity. Crickets. It has the makings of an imaginary crisis that can give large $$$ to those who join in the fiction. Geoff S

November 17, 2020 3:41 am

When, in the last 75 years, has the US financed any power station in Africa?

what about the lack of an electrical grid?

where will the African nations get the coal from – most don’t have any in their territory and the expense of importing it would be prohibitive.

This is no kind of answer at all – it won’t be financed and there isn’t a grid to distribute the power if it was.

Meanwhile renewables are providing power and light where there is no prospect of fossil fuel power delivering… from the smallest possible improvements on up.

If you have no grid power and are in energy poverty because you spend most of your income on kerosene for lighting, then a solar LED lantern is a step up.

If your village has a set of solar panels, or your clinic has them to eke out the diesel generators, that’s a step up.

If you electrify villages using home grown ‘solar trough’ technology, that’s a step up.

If you provide electricity to your whole population with a large element of renewables in remote areas, that’s success.

all the above are real and widespread examples. Meanwhile coal plants generally aren’t getting built

Reply to  David Middleton
November 17, 2020 5:26 am

and I think you’ll find that building SA coal plants are well overdue and investors are pulling out of new proposals:

‘Japanese resources company Marubeni Corp will pull out of the Thabametsi South African coal plant project, the Japanese group told Reuters on Wednesday, following the withdrawal of some South African investors this week.

Marubeni’s exit from the 630 megawatt (MW) Thabametsi coal-based power plant project in the water-scarce northern Limpopo province also follows the withdrawal of South Korea’s state-run Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) last month.’

As for the idea that bankrupt Zimbabwe will ever construct the plant its govt has proposed…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  David Middleton
November 17, 2020 12:46 pm

“David Middleton November 17, 2020 at 6:20 am

Red China is more than willing and able to pick up the slack.”

You are correct. Unfortunately, African countries that rely on Chinese funding for projects will pay (Are paying) a heavy price. No, or few, locals will be employed in most projects. Most resource/wealth will be extracted and exported to China. I have seen this first-hand in Ethiopia.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 17, 2020 1:22 pm

China is helping (providing financing, engineering, and construction) support for a large coal mine and power plant 1,200 MW in the Thar Desert in Pakistan. The first phase of this project was completed this year and is producing 600 MW. The U.S. and the World Bank had blocked funding for this project even though Pakistan suffered from from extreme electricity shortage.
China is also helping with the construction of two nuclear power plants near Karachi. Each one of these plants will have a nominal capacity of 1,000 MW. The first of these plants, KANUP2, is completed and will be commissioned in the next few months. The other, KANUP3, is scheduled to be on line end of next year.
Bottom line is that China is stepping into the void created by the refusal of Western finance agencies to fund power projects in developing countries. I wish the Western agencies would recognize the tremendous environmental and economic benefits of replacing wood and dung stoves with centrally powered electricity.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 17, 2020 1:47 pm

The World Bank has it in its power to slow Chinese exploitation.

But are too concerned about funding plant food release

So DUMB, and rather anti-human and disgusting !!!

Putting anti-CO2 idiotology before people’s benefits in African countries.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 12:22 pm

Their solution is Karadeniz powerships.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 4:34 am

Because you haven’t the one, you can’t built the other ?
Strange logic.
Built both, as it started everywhere in the beginning of electrification.
Following your logic, it’s a wonder to have electric powere everywhere.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
November 17, 2020 5:27 am

I’m saying that people are getting benefit from ‘the other’, because people aren’t building ‘the one’ in the first place. And haven’t in the past and won’t in the future.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 6:32 am

They would build them and they even have the coal but the world banks wont allow them to loan money for it. You guys really hate the poor.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 9:37 am

What benefit?
Being able to run a single light bulb for a couple of hours each night?

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 12:30 pm

Griff with his DEEP-SEATED HATRED of all things.

Doesn’t want Africans to have RELIABLE sustainable electricity supplies.

What a RACIST little puke you really are , griff.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  fred250
November 17, 2020 12:56 pm

No, Griff is saying “He’s alright Jack!” He and his family benefited from coal, but just does not want Africans to enjoy the same. Griff is lucky in the fact that he can sit in front of his computer and tell Africans that they simply have to do with unreliable power sources (Well, most Africans that I know are used to that anyway) and token LED lights.

Reply to  fred250
November 17, 2020 3:21 pm

Even Obama said:
“Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over…”

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 12:43 pm

“getting benefit from ‘the other’”


Solar is USELESS because it doesn’t work at night.. you know.. when it actually needed. !!

Why do you always expect third world countries to forego what you have, ie a RELIABLE DISPATCHABLE 24/7 electricity supply.

WHY do you HATE third world people so much ??

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 5:23 am

Griff you forgot to mention that most villages are without massive supplies of water. Thermal stations must have clean water for steam generation, and water for cooling (not sure if air cooling will work at 30°C temperatures?) the steam. Steam generation can be recyclable not so cooling water.

Usually someone talks about small nuclear reactors as the answer to the grid requirements. But even nuclear reactors require steam generators which require clean water. There is currently no sensible heat to electricity generation without the use of water.

the Uk has gas fired boilers and sometimes air cooling.

There is no way that the average village inhabitant can afford gridded electricity. Cooking requires a peak supply of a couple of kW – so no small load.

Lighting/computers,/phones/some refridgeration can easily be provided by local solar or wind.

Add a grid network and you have 100s of km of overhead wires all costing more than a village can afford. then you need a load of people to ensure unpaid for connections not happening and to ensure that the lines stay operational.

Then you need to add the cost of appliances. etc etc

Don’t get me wrong, Villages need modernising but also they need massive financial inputs from those with money!

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 6:36 am

Really you better tell that to the 1940MW Koeberg nuclear reactor in South Africa which has been running since 1986 … that Ghal said it can’t work.

What you proved is you know almost nothing about what you comment on.

Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2020 8:06 am

This is located near the ocean for cooling:
Koeberg was one of the first nuclear power stations designed to be specifically resistant to earthquakes. The reactors at the Koeberg nuclear power station are built upon an aseismic raft designed – on the basis of a mid-1970s hazard study – to withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake at a focal distance of about 10 km, 0.3g zero period ground acceleration (ZPGA). The largest recorded earthquake in the Cape Town area has been 6.5 magnitude at Jan Biesjes Kraal in 1809.[5][6][7]

The reactor at Koeberg is cooled by cold water from the Atlantic Ocean pumped through an isolated circuit at 80 tons a second.[8] Low and intermediate level waste from Koeberg is transported by road in steel and concrete containers to a rural disposal site at Vaalputs, 600 km away in the Kalahari Desert.

Now finding suitable water sources as I said in central africa is more problematic.

You need to note that river water can be used but if the discharge reaches too high a temperature then the power output needs reducing so aquatic life is not destroyed
Thermal Water Pollution from Nuclear Power Plants
Any nuclear or coal-fired plant that is normally cooled by drawing water from a river or lake will have limits imposed on the temperature of the returned water (typically 30°C) and/or on the temperature differential between inlet and discharge. In hot summer conditions even the inlet water from a river may approach the limit set for discharge, and this will mean that the plant is unable to run at full power. In mid 2010 TVA had to reduce power at its three Browns Ferry units in Alabama to 50% in order to keep river water temperatures below 32°C, at a cost of some $50 million to customers. This was the same week when Rhine and Neckar River temperatures in Baden-Wuerttemberg approached the critical 28°C, and nuclear and coal-fired plants were threatened with closure. In August 2012 one unit of Millstone power station in Connecticut was closed because the seawater in Long Island Sound exceeded 24°C, but in 2014 the NRC approved it using seawater up to 26.7°C. The Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Florida uses 270 km of open canals to cool its condenser water, and in 2014 the NRC approved an increase in intake temperature limit to 40°C, from 37.8°C.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 9:21 am

BS … Central Africa has enormous water reserves and lakes. Northern Africa has little water reserves but most countries have a coastline. We haven’t even got to the fact the renewable unreliables you greentards want to put in is piffling compared to a single nuclear reactor. Realistically they would be better off putting in the coal power stations they have the coal deposits but the poor have to suffer more to save you self guilted western losers.

oeman 50
Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 8:08 am


Yes, air cooling does work at 30°C, South Africa has at least two plants with air cooled condensers, Medupi and Matimba, they are only about 6 km apart.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 3:36 pm

Back in history, who was there in SA,Briain, France, even remote Australia with it’s tiny population, to provide “massive financial inputs from those with money”?
There was progress in such countries back then, I suggest, because of a common motto like ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.”
This is a smile motto, but not as simple as your assumption that you know enough about conditions in African countries to think and speak for them. Geoff S

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 3:49 pm

“Don’t get me wrong, Villages need modernising but also they need massive financial inputs from those with money!”

There are a bunch of ultra-left capitalist billionaires waste huge amount of money on idiotic anti-CO2 junk and idiotologies.

Soros for example supports BLM…… except n Africa. !

Bezos.. ditto.. massive funds wasted on making the US electricity grid unreliable costly and unstable… and sending oil and gas production back to the Middle-East.

What these guys could do if they actually CARED about improving the world for people and got off their “anti-CO2” high-horse, would make a significant difference.

But the won’t. !

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 5:50 am

Greenpeace learned that these rural Indians wanted “real electricity” from coal, not the “fake electricity” from renewables that they were given.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 12:38 pm

“If your village has a set of solar panels, or your clinic has them ”

Solar panels are ABSOLUTELY USELESS unless backed up by RELIABLE dispatchable electricity

Are you saying the villiage has to let cold storage food spoil, and the clinic has to let there cold stored supplies get destroyed every night

That’s a new LOW even for you.

First you need RELIABLE DISPATCHABLE electricity supply before you play around at destroying the supply system using UNRELIABLES.

I BET you would not even try to exist JUST on the intermittent , unreliability of wind and solar..

But that is what you want third world countries to do.

It is DISGUSTING and ANTI-HUMAN shows what you really thing of people in thrid world countries, marking you as nothing but a low-life racist.

Reply to  griff
November 17, 2020 2:16 pm

“where will the African nations get the coal from”

ROFLMAO…. the ignorance of griff displayed large for all to se… yet again.

Many parts of Africa have large coal deposits.. and much of the African continent, they don’t even have data for.. ie , they don’t know

Plenty of coal for all countries if railways are built and mining investigations allowed.

comment image

You did know that South Africa actually EXPORTS coal, didn’t you. ignorant griff.

comment image

And of course, plenty of GAS as well.

comment image
November 17, 2020 5:14 am

Middleton, how come you, as a fossil fuel “expert” is unaware of this?

Cheaper, cleaner and more efficient?

Reply to
November 17, 2020 6:40 am

One has to ask did you read your own link because you just did a Griff 🙂

November 17, 2020 6:07 am

From post:”and the World Health Organization estimates that 439,000 Africans die every year because they have to cook in their homes with wood and dried animal dung. ”

Steve Milloy says that no one dies because of the above. I don’t know, but getting those folks cheap electricity would definitely be a huge benefit.

Reply to  mkelly
November 17, 2020 8:51 am

Those are “statistical deaths” from smoky fireplaces, which can be balanced against “statistical deaths” due to eating uncooked food. Real deaths are from respiratory disorders and dysentery. Natural gas stoves would decrease both.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 17, 2020 10:14 pm

+10 Steve Milloy did a good job of destroying particulate matter deaths.

Reply to  mkelly
November 17, 2020 10:07 pm

World Health Denial Organization also kills millions of Africans by promoting abortion and unsafe forms of contraception that can kill or promote cancer – so can you trust their numbers regarding 500K deaths on a continent of roughly a billion? The people cooking with wood and dung definitely deserve better and we should get out of their way, but there’s no way anyone has done proper medical studies among the poor and facrored out true killers like lack of health care, hygiene, proper nutrition, and a surplus of warlords!

November 17, 2020 8:30 am

mkelly November 17, 2020 at 6:07 am
Steve Milloy says that no one dies because of the above. I don’t know, but getting those folks cheap electricity would definitely be a huge benefit.
So who pays for the electricity? In general dung and wood is free.

Who pays for the appliances?

In many cases the villagers will have very little income
Ethiopia AVERAGE salary is $71 per month (but what is a remote villagers salary?)
My average electricity bill is $80 per month at $0.16 per kWh
Cost of generation and supply of electricity is $0.09 in Ethiopia – users seem to pay less = problem (,%240.04%20and%20%240.06%20per%20kWh. )

can the AVERAGE Ethiopian afford $45/mnth for electricity? What about remote villagers?

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 9:26 am

You can’t get industrial output and manufacturing without the electricity and that is what makes the jobs … its not about domestic supply. So your stupid solution is to leave them all as subsistence farmers with electricity :-).

Reply to  ghalfrunt
November 17, 2020 1:52 pm

Don’t you think it would be far better if Bezos and his ultra-left billionaire mates funded reliable electricity supplies in Africa…..

…. rather than trying to destroy the reliability of US electricity supplies in their bid to bring the US down to third world status..

Rob Duncan
November 17, 2020 8:52 am

I got to do some high level work in both Botswana and Mozambique. My role was more on the groundwater/water supply of the equation. I was not at a level to interact directly with the governments, but my experience with Botswana was good. Botswana had relatively up to date environmental requirements, the rules were available in English and the general consensus was government would be a good partner. Our government affairs person felt the team he interacted with from the Botswana government were in it for the betterment of their people and their country. Rule of Law meant something there.

The geology of the study area was fairly complex, but predictable and the data quality was good. Water availability was a concern, but again appeared to be adequate for the needs of the project without impacting local uses. The important thing for Botswana was the coal was available and the proposed power plant would improve the lives of their citizens. In the end, the company I was working for did not pursue the project. The experience made gave me hope for the people of Botswana.

Mozambique project got kicked out quickly because of the lack of any infrastructure and governance concerns.

As a side note. I went to work for consultancy a few years later. A group that was raising money to install water wells for villages across Africa came in to fund raise and talk about their successes. Though the talk was inspiring, it was also heartbreaking if you know anything about public water supplies. These kids are going into villages and drilling wells wells with very little resources. The wells are equipped with hand pumps because there is no power. Solar was not used because of all the stuff that falls under reliability concerns. For the small villages, this was a real improvement, but a drop in the bucket for the need. In addition, it did nothing to improve the sanitary conditions of the villages.

Access to clean water and modern waste water treatment needs reliable energy. Why aren’t people that claim to care for the environment and the people living in these improvised nations doing something productive. Think of the money the Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and other ultrarich throw away supporting the green monster environmental groups that do nothing more than fund raise and file lawsuits. Sorry, feeling a bit angry this morning.

On the bright side. It was pretty inspiring to see the Trump Parade in Washington D.C. this past weekend. It was festive, passionate and positive from my vantage point.

Climate believer
Reply to  Rob Duncan
November 17, 2020 12:20 pm

Thanks for the anecdote Mr Duncan, Botswana is a very interesting case in point. One of the most well run countries on that continent, and as you point out there is much less corruption there than might be expected.

All they need is one more coal powered plant, preferably next to the other one they have, which is next to the coal field, and they could initiate a major ‘level up’ for all Batswana. No point putting up windmills there, they don’t have enough wind.
(coal reserve estimates of 200 billion tons)

They would become energy independent from South Africa and could even sell energy back to them. A stable, reliable source of electricity would really give them some opportunity.

To deprive Botswana of one measly coal power station while the rest of the world constructs hundreds of them, is just plain wrong.

If Bezos, and the like, wanted to really help they could start by throwing a few million Botswana’s way.

Reply to  Climate believer
November 17, 2020 5:01 pm

“If Bezos, and the like, wanted to really help”

What the heck gave you that idea ?

They want to CONTROL… They couldn’t give two hoots about human life.

In a way, they are far worse than the Chinese, because at least the Chinese are honest about it and are putting their own country first..

Reply to  Climate believer
November 17, 2020 10:38 pm

The Chinese did build Botswana another coal fired power plant, Morupule B, which was commissioned in 2012. It had so many technical issues they had to use diesel generators to dispatch power. A total lemon. Typical Chinese in Africa.

I’ve lived and worked in Africa for 30 years, including Mozambique and South Africa.

The problem in much of Africa, even SA are staggering. Finance is an issue so many have started to go the IPP route but even private financing for thermal fired projects is a major challenge (its how the greenies plan to eventually eliminate fossil fuel power generation, cut off the finance spigot). The SOE’s (Eskom in SA) are corrupt, inefficient and many times incompetent, project management is totally lacking (look at Kusile and Medupi in SA), little to no coordination between ministries (energy, finance, environmental) stalls projects for years and the SOEs still own the transmission and distribution networks which are largely non-existent in rural areas and it makes little economic sense to electrify these areas which just compounds the poor fiscal shape of the SOEs. Theft of the electricity itself is a huge problem as the vast majority either have no money or the inclination to pay for power. I love Africa but am not a big believer that it will ever improve much due to the multiple hurricane force headwinds.

Climate believer
Reply to  John
November 18, 2020 3:42 am

” I love Africa but am not a big believer that it will ever improve much due to the multiple hurricane force headwinds.”

An enduring sad state of affairs.

Thanks for the heads up, I hadn’t realised fully the whole Morupule B debacle. What a waste.

A detailed history can be found here:

November 17, 2020 9:27 am

“World Health Organization estimates that 439,000 Africans die every year because they have to cook in their homes with wood and dried animal dung. According to a top researcher for the WHO, “having an open fire in your kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour”

If you want credibility, don’t quote the World Health Organization. If one were to trace either of these claims, they will be found to be at least two of: exaggerated, out-of-context, and/or unsupported by verifiable or published data. You’d also find the bribe before you found the science.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  d
November 17, 2020 10:26 am

But, but, but…if even one life is lost, isn’t that a preventable tragedy? Don’t black lives in Africa matter just as much as those in the US and Europe? BTW, what is, in your estimation, a reliable number for the number of people that die in Africa due to a lack of reliable energy, AKA energy poverty?

Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 17, 2020 10:32 pm

All of them! Anyone who dies in African countries today would probably still be alive to live until a ripe old age if they had as much energy available as needed , instead of having only as much energy as outsiders deign to let them have. Energy affects everything. Have enough affordable energy and then people have good jobs, comfortable air-conditioned homes, kids going to school, nearby hospitals, good safe roads, etc. And as what should be good news to anyone whose heart bleeds green, the resultant urbanization and development will also lead to the end of poaching and the restoration of wild lands (due to the end of logging for firewood and the use of modern high yield farming methods – as what happened in the US or other modern country.)

November 17, 2020 11:18 am

The Time Of Clean Coal Is Now Here ~ Youtube it
The cost of building HELE boilers drives the cost way up of the power plant. A standard coal boiler with a few modifications can operate much more efficiently. This is not adding new equipment but replacing old technology with newly designed components. The efficiency of these boilers can be increased by 12 or 13%.
The CO2 emissions will be lower that from a natural gas fired boiler. The CO2 gets turned into good paying full time jobs and money.

Coeur de Lion
November 17, 2020 11:32 am

Recall that just the annual increase in global energy demand is bigger than all ‘renewable’ provision.

November 18, 2020 7:44 am

Interesting comments. I live in South Africa.

What I can tell you is that the Government is full of socialists and Marxists. The Minister of Energy is a self proclaimed Marxist and the President is a self proclaimed Socialist.

They are following the UN agenda because of promises of untold enrichment in secret locations and protection Guaranteed provided they implement the Agenda 2030.

There is no desire to benefit the locals, they are simply fodder to keep themselves in power with using never ending promises.

The problem is to do with massive corruption, it is how Africa operates. It is tribal and socialist simply put.

The RE Useless Wind and Solar in the country is driven by Corporate Crony Capitalists making a quick buck while the going is good.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights