African Workers Installing Pipes in a Combined Cycle Gas Power Plant in Egypt. Nicolás Adamo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Africa: The Place where Claims Renewables are Cheaper Go to Die

Essay by Eric Worrall

If renewables are the cheapest form of energy, why is Africa making a dash for gas, with greens in developed nations scrambling to organise climate finance to persuade Africans to build renewables instead?

Africa has vast gas reserves – here’s how to stop them adding to climate change

Published: November 16, 2022 4.18am AEDT

Chukwumerije OkerekeProfessor of Environment and Development, University of Reading
Youba SokonaVice-président du GIEC et professeur honoraire, UCL

The question of whether Africa should be allowed to exploit its gas reserves, estimated at more than 17.56 trillion cubic meters (620 trillion cubic feet) in 2021, has been much discussed at the latest UN climate change summit, COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. 

Former US vice president Al Gore used his speech at the opening session to urge an end to all fossil fuel investment globally, including in Africa. But Macky Sall, the president of Senegal and chairperson of the African Union, argued at the same event that Africa needs space in Earth’s dwindling carbon budget to use its resources for development.

study published in 2021 found that a lack of finance, or the high cost of accessing it, imposes a huge gap between the theoretical and actual cost of generating renewable energy in Africa. And, if African countries are able to diversify their energy portfolio with gas it will, it is argued, increase energy resilience and strengthen the right of African countries to make their own decisions on energy generation, distribution and consumption in a way that they deem appropriate.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/africa-has-vast-gas-reserves-heres-how-to-stop-them-adding-to-climate-change-194473

If renewables are the cheapest form of energy, surely the solution is to deny finance to Africa, not provide more. That way they would be forced to embrace cheap renewables rather than rushing to exploit their “vast gas reserves”? /sarc

Absurdities like this make it completely obvious claims renewables are cheap are nonsense. Otherwise there would be no need for COP conferences, government funded grid upgrades, renewable energy target certificates, and other renewable energy initiatives.

If renewables were the cheapest form of energy, there would be no talk of exploiting untapped gas reserves. People in Africa and elsewhere would be flocking to embrace renewables of their own free will.

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Steve Case
November 16, 2022 2:18 am

The question of whether Africa should be allowed to exploit its gas reserves,
_____________________________________________________________

Exactly who is allowing what Africa shall and shall not do?

I saw this one the other day:

       Black Lives Matter
       but not in Africa

commieBob
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 3:48 am

There was a time when calling ‘them’ imperialist pigs would have been the automatic response from the left.

It’s blatantly obvious that ‘they’ want to destroy industrial society and, for sure, they want to deprive the vast majority of the world’s population from achieving its benefits.

It’s also blatantly obvious that, once a population achieves a certain income, they begin to care for, and take care of, the environment.

‘They’ are over-schooled, and under-educated. ‘They’ don’t believe in reality, they think theory is reality.

Defund the universities.

PCman999
Reply to  commieBob
November 16, 2022 12:54 pm

If Kerry, Gore, and the rest of the Climate Scary Clown Show truly cared about the environment and the lives of the typical African, they would be providing help in $ and tech to make sure the most efficient and effective energy grid is created – ultimately a Pan-African grid using CCGTs and nuclear, even super critical coal power plants.

It would also be extremely nice if they let the rest of the world also do that instead of wasting money, resources and the environment on wind, solar, batteries and anything else that’s toxic or a blight on the world.

Graham
Reply to  PCman999
November 18, 2022 12:41 pm

If Kerry ,Gore and the rest of the clown show were sincere they would walk and sail back to the US.
I get so annoyed at these elites trying their best to restrict affordable energy to developing countries but they individually are using far more energy than a village in Africa.
Develop gas and nuclear in Africa and other poor countries and lift the people out of poverty.
Most developed countries have low birth rates so by lifting these people out of poverty the worlds birthrate should fall .
Just saying .
.

max
Reply to  Graham
November 19, 2022 5:14 am

Yep, if people can afford entertainment, there’s something to do besides make babies.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 4:10 am

Better still
White lies matter 😉

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 7:35 am

Two humorless people have given my comment a thumbs down. If they cannot understand using humor to make a salient point or do not understand what I was writing or recognize the three puns, they would do well not to display their ignorance.

sturmudgeon
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 4:42 pm

Sad, isn’t it?

Mr.
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 9:33 am

Just as people in Africa know not to slap at insects when you’re wearing your best shirt, because
black flies splatter.

n.n
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 12:11 pm

Yes, the albinos. People of Pink (e.g. babies… fetal-babies), too, who have been historically celebrated, but have suffered from affirmative discrimination with social progress.

PCman999
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 1:05 pm

I didn’t vote down, or up for that matter, but “white lies matter” doesn’t apply, even though the liars are as white as snow, because “white lies” implies a harmless fib to avoid offending someone or to avoid a pointless discussion of something that can’t be changed (bureaucracy).

Climate change scientists who constantly have their ‘thumb on the scale” might have thought their exaggeration was necessary to “save the planet ” from oil, coal, nuclear, {insert favourite knee-jerking alergin here}, but their “little white lies ” have robbed the world of literally trillions of dollars, wasted on already obsolete fake-sustainable nonsense and stolen from everyone, proportionately more from the poor.

sturmudgeon
Reply to  PCman999
November 16, 2022 4:23 pm

because “white lies” implies a harmless fib”… You are exactly right in pointing this out. Nothing about this crap is ‘harmless’, it’s EVIL.

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 8:28 am

To them, Black Lives Matter, only when they are killed by white cops. To them, black on black violence is not a problem.

Tony_G
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 8:38 am

That stood out to me too – who are they to tell African countries what they are allowed to do with their resources?

Steve Case
Reply to  Tony_G
November 16, 2022 8:52 am

..-who are they …?
_____________________________________

The same people who think they own the science. You Tube LINK

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Tony_G
November 16, 2022 7:23 pm

Converting the natives to the climate religion in the name of climate and environmental justice by denying them loans for hydrocarbon based electrical generation to save the planet from one degree C (or <) over the next 75 years is considered a high order of virtuousness by the progressive left. It’s for the people and it’s for their own good.

barryjo
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 10:54 am

Evidently the problem is one of finance. Africa doesn’t have the where-with-all to go it alone and so needs outside money. No money, no gas.

Steve Case
Reply to  barryjo
November 16, 2022 11:24 am

“Evidently the problem is one of finance. Africa – – – “
____________________________________________

Should be U.S. Foreign policy, but we’re on the
way to the poor house, so I’m betting on China.

n.n
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 12:07 pm

From forcing, then sanctioning George “Fentanyl” Floyd syndrome, it was always a Choice… uh, choice of Some, Select [Black] Lives Matter.

RickWill
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2022 3:31 pm

Little changes.

Five centuries ago the Europeans brought religion to Africa to save the heathen population from themselves.

Now Europeans are bringing the new religion to Africa to save them from climate change.

If Africans are smart they will take whatever China has on offer and run with it until they have their own productive industry. Accepting anything from IMF with woke strings attached would be just dumb.

sturmudgeon
Reply to  RickWill
November 16, 2022 4:27 pm

They should also be smart to take care about the “strings” when making deals with China. I understand that the CCP already has a pretty good ‘hold’ on Africa… is this not correct?

max
Reply to  sturmudgeon
November 19, 2022 5:17 am

One of the strings, anything the Chinese build “for you” will come with a complete set of blueprints, written in Chinese. Only.

It doesnot add up
November 16, 2022 2:28 am

As I watch the LNG cargoes from Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt itself line up to discharge in European ports, fetching high prices that will provide income for development of those countries (as well as the bank accounts of their rulers), and as Germany opens the first of several new rapid build LNG terminals to take it, while the US ramps up its own LNG export capacity it is evident that even the West doesn’t really mean it. At least not until it has impoverished itself to the point where it can’t afford the cargoes and has become power than the Africans.

Meanwhile I note that the curve fitting unphysical model of the aptly named Gasser etc al. (2017 – doi:10.5194/esd-8-235-2017 ) is being touted as the best thing in estimating the impact of methane emissions, studiously ignoring the work of Wijngaarden and Happer on Methane and Climate, which completely debunks the earlier work.

max
Reply to  It doesnot add up
November 19, 2022 5:19 am

The euros are taking gas from Africa, and blowing smoke in return.

Bill Toland
November 16, 2022 2:32 am

Renewable energy in Africa is simply not going to happen because of its cost and intermittency. Africa is planning to build 1250 coal and gas power stations in the next decade alone.

https://iowaclimate.org/2021/01/14/africans-planning-1250-new-coal-and-gas-power-plants/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-55620848

Oldseadog
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 16, 2022 2:41 am

And I wonder who is going to build these 1250 power plants?
Someone with the expertise and who is going to build 43 for themselves as well?

Last edited 19 days ago by Oldseadog
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 16, 2022 3:49 am

GOOD.

Since…

There is no “crisis.”

There is no need for any “carbon budget.”

No “Satanic Gasses” (h/t to Pat Michaels) drive the Earth’s temperature.

“Renewables” need fossil fuels to be produced, tra sported, installed, maintained, demolished, and hauled away to landfills when their shorter-than-promisedife ends.

“Renewables” need 100% fossil fuel and nuclear backup anyway, unless you allow regular blackouts that wouldn’t be tolerated in “developed” countries.

abolition man
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
November 16, 2022 7:52 am

When you say that regular blackouts wouldn’t be tolerated in “developed” countries you’re surely not referring to Commifornia!?

Editor
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
November 16, 2022 12:21 pm

What is not so good about it is that the west is driving Africa into China’s grip. The sooner the west gets real and drops its insane push for intermittent energy the better.

Joy
November 16, 2022 2:47 am

Money talks and fossil fuels are cheap when still so plentiful.
Renewables, so called, are an indulgence that is now hitting a wall

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Joy
November 16, 2022 3:54 am

It’s not about the cost.

Fossil fuels can provide electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“Renewables” CANNOT.

“Renewables” require 100% backup from fossil fuels and nuclear.

Joy
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
November 16, 2022 4:07 am

among other things

Rod Evans
November 16, 2022 3:20 am

After the latest Climate Alarmists fiasco, held at Shame and Shriek(sic) in Egypt, is there any credibility left in the Man Made Climate Change movement at all?
The great Greta did not even turn up! Apparently she has now been told, the new policy to push on with, is not climate based fear mongering, oh no, that is so last year, now it is full on anti capitalist promotion and posturing.
The bulk of the countries that make up the UN are looking for financial hand outs from the few countries in the UN that make up ‘The Developed World’. Why wouldn’t they? That Developed World group, does not include China or India or Indonesia or Russia? Despite their absence from the list of would be payment providers, those are the key nations controlling the growth of fossil fuel use today. They will also do so, for the rest of the century.
Now the Belt and Road programme advanced by China has enabled ‘undeveloped’ countries to access reliable power generation, using coal and oil. Those nation, (many in Africa) are very wary of paying too much attention to the Western World’s demand for them to remain poor, by remaining locked into unreliable weather dependent energy options.
The last COP held, may well be the last.
The idea it is sensible, to host a gathering of 35,000 people for a couple of weeks all in one place, in order to debate or even try to cement decisions about energy use and impact climate change, (well by impact climate if you are a Green energy lobby activist that is) is clearly ridiculous.
There is clearly a very small clique of players making world energy decisions. When those few are fully revealed, maybe then the Green barmy army of 35,000 attending these nonsense gatherings will get the message.
They are being used.

Last edited 19 days ago by Rod Evans
MCourtney
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 16, 2022 7:22 am

The Green barmy army of 35,000 attending these nonsense gatherings are very happy with the status quo. They are not being used.
They are enjoying themselves.
They get to travel the world. They get to sound superior. They get a living from activism.

The last thing they want is for a COP to solve AGW. They would all be unemployed.

Mr.
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 16, 2022 9:36 am

The great grate Greta

sturmudgeon
Reply to  Mr.
November 16, 2022 4:48 pm

I approve this description.

strativarius
November 16, 2022 3:34 am

Africa, nay, African nations should be free to develop their resources.  

But, and this is where Luther King (character not …..) kicks in, there are the cult of youth foot-soldiers of the globalists, trying to hijack African institutions and education just as they have done in most of the Western world. 

‘If your country is breaking a promise not to finance new fossil fuel development overseas, by investing in new gas infrastructure in Africa, then you are not a climate leader,’ Ugandan climate activist, Vanessa Nakate, told delegates at an event on clean energy transition hosted by Britain on the sidelines of the summit.

‘If your country’s planned expansion of its oil and gas development would by itself put the 1.5 degrees Celsius target out of reach, then you are not a climate leader. So, I ask each of the leaders here today. Will you be on the right side of history?’ 

https://www.africanews.com/2022/11/15/climate-activists-call-on-countries-to-stop-funding-new-gas-projects-in-africa/

Africa still has time, but I’d recommend it pulls its finger out – pronto. Before the British (gov’t) get their way

Nik
November 16, 2022 4:08 am

If renewables are the cheapest form of energy, why is Africa making a dash for gas, with greens in developed nations scrambling to organise (sic) climate finance to persuade Africans to build renewables instead?”

Because (the lies of) “renewables” come with bribes that politicians/governments use to finance their lifestyles and retirements, and are paid for with other peoples’ money; whereas, gas and other hydrocarbons are bought by people who produce stuff that other people need and are willing and able to pay for.

Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 4:48 am

I skimmed the original article in The Conversation and was disappointed.

I have a good friend that has been involved with electricity supply in different African countries. The two writers of this article seem blissfully unaware of what my friend had to grapple with working on the ground.

The second criticism is that they do not even mention crime and corruption. Africa’s biggest and most pressing problem is not climate change – or better climate changes – but crime and corruption. South Africa was the most developed country on the African continent 30 years ago with reliable and cheap electricity. Costs have rocketed but the electricity supply is a shambles and facing collapse.

In 2011 the highest court in SA declared
“There can be no gainsaying that corruption threatens to fell at the knees virtually everything we hold dear and precious in our hard-won constitutional order. It blatantly undermines the democratic ethos, the institutions of democracy, the rule of law and the foundational values of our nascent constitutional project. 

“It fuels maladministration and public fraudulence and imperils the capacity of the state to fulfil its obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil all the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
 
“When corruption and organised crime flourish, sustainable development and economic growth are stunted. And in turn, the stability and security of society is put at risk.”

The financial adviser of the former president Zuma was found guilty of corrupting him as long ago as 2005. The trial of Zuma should have followed. Instead he has been allowed to delay the trial through 17 years of filibuster and procedural wrangling.

Climate fraud is fraud on steroids.
The harm in third world countries will be enormous.
What Hitler did to the Jews is going to be like child’s play
in comparison to what the current American/Canadian/EU policies will do.

strativarius
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 5:54 am

“I skimmed the original article in The Conversation and was disappointed.”

In my case, disappointment has given way to laughter, where the Conversation is concerned.

Last edited 19 days ago by strativarius
MarkW
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 8:33 am

Rhodesia was known as the breadbasket of Africa. Zimbabwe can’t even feed itself.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  MarkW
November 16, 2022 8:57 am

Thanks to Marxism which ignorant young Westerners want to rebrand and introduce as the solution to the most pressing needs in the USA and EU.

DonM
Reply to  MarkW
November 16, 2022 3:02 pm

Mugabe stole the farmland; the Supreme Court ruled it was illegal; the court was pressured, expanded, and packed with with Mugabe supporters; the Supreme Court then ruled that the land seizures were legal.

Shumer, etal, have their template for ‘success’ … power for themselves through harm to others.

sturmudgeon
Reply to  DonM
November 16, 2022 5:00 pm

Corruption seems to be the main ‘class’ in education for decades now. I am well aware that it has always been with us, but, something is feeding its spread throughout the World.

huls
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
November 16, 2022 11:19 am

After WWII The Netherlands was in ruins. It was by all means reduced to a poor country. The Dutch started building their country. Then in 1952 a large part of the country was flooded which meant an extra task: immense fortifications to be shielded from the sea.
The gas reserves in The Netherlands were squandered by politicians and never benefit the Dutch.
Today The Netherlands is a prosperous developed country, generously donating large amounts of money to poor countries.

Those poor countries had the exact same starting position as The Netherlands. You should not ask why they are poor, you should wonder why to are not rich as well.

Spoiler: it’s the human factor

mkelly
November 16, 2022 6:06 am

Here is a documentary on the vastness of what the folks in Africa are after.

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Treasure-Lake-Kivu/dp/B07KZ5W6TD

years ago I watched a PBS show that demonstrated how Africans could make their own household methane by mashing dung in water. It would generate enough to assist in cooking. But someone had to volunteer to get in a large vat and stomp around like making wine.

As a minor argument they claim that methane is not a fossil fuel because it is found on moons of the outer solar system there by not falling under any restraints.

Scarecrow Repair
November 16, 2022 8:00 am

“The question of whether Africa should be allowed to exploit its gas reserves”

should be allowed“? The patronizing arrogance is palpable. Should we smart, intelligent, forward-thinking Europeans allow those ignorant, backwards, primitive, naive, gullible Africans to use their own gas reserves? We think not!

DonM
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
November 16, 2022 3:07 pm

‘If your country is breaking a promise not to finance new fossil fuel development overseas, by investing in new gas infrastructure in Africa, then you are not a climate leader,’ Ugandan climate activist, Vanessa Nakate, told delegates at an event on clean energy transition hosted by Britain on the sidelines of the summit.

Obviously, some of them are  ignorant, backwards, primitive, naive, & gullible.

Last edited 19 days ago by DonM
sturmudgeon
Reply to  DonM
November 16, 2022 4:56 pm

Nope… just corrupt. I have to believe that this has little to do with your ‘descriptives’.

abolition man
November 16, 2022 8:12 am

Be still, my beating heart!
One can only HOPE that Africa will ignore the pressure to forgo inexpensive and reliable “fossil fuels.” It would be nice if Western elites would refrain from using African nations and peoples as their test subjects for their latest harebrained schemes; medical or otherwise! But then racism has always been a major component of Marxist ideology; witness BLM.
If Africa is allowed to pursue prosperity without Western intervention, perhaps in a decade or two immigrants will flee the energy starved and impoverished shores of Europe and America for the opportunities there! If the Green wackos aren’t soon relegated to the asylum, where they belong, the possibility grows.

richard
November 16, 2022 8:43 am

Europe paid South Africa not to use coal and is now buying it from them.

DMacKenzie
November 16, 2022 8:44 am

Reality is that if your city needs electricity, you will hire an engineering company to figure out how to succeed. If you have coal nearby, you will probably get a coal generating station, if NG you will get NG, mountains you’ll get a hydro dam. The cost of energy transportation infrastructure is THAT high. Only coal, natural gas and nuclear are sufficiently energy dense to transport for large distances.
Indeed, you night get some wind and sun energy if you have enough reserve capacity in your proven reliable sources to NOT risk peoples lives. Engineers are generally pretty good at their jobs. It’s when politicians start thinking they can dictate results that things go astray because economics and functionality get lost in philosophy… by people who struggled in junior high school science class.

Last edited 19 days ago by DMacKenzie
sturmudgeon
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 16, 2022 5:03 pm

Politicians ‘dictate’ decisions that directly benefit their pocketbooks.

Tom Abbott
November 16, 2022 10:19 am

From the article: “The question of whether Africa should be allowed”

Allowed by whom?

Such arrogant thinking.

Who are these people who allow and disallow?

AndyHce
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 16, 2022 12:07 pm

Look to your own enter of government for answers.

sturmudgeon
Reply to  AndyHce
November 16, 2022 5:03 pm

‘center’, perhaps.

AndyHce
November 16, 2022 11:43 am

If renewables were the cheapest form of energy, there would be no talk of exploiting untapped gas reserves. People in Africa and elsewhere would be flocking to embrace renewables of their own free will.

Not to argue that “renewables” are a reasonable way to go, but it appears to me that there is considerable interest in developing gas resources in Africa in order to sell the gas, for profit of course, to Europe and elsewhere.

n.n
November 16, 2022 12:05 pm

Africans can no longer, never could, afford post-colonial “aid” to minority regimes that match in color if not expectation.

John in Oz
November 16, 2022 1:38 pm

Yes, let them have renewables, such as rooftop solar, such as we have an apparent excess of in South Australia at the moment.

Then all house owners can participate in controlling energy supply by turning on/off their systems at the request of government when there is too much/little.

We will soon be required to have someone at home all day so that they can carry out the demands of the inept who are ‘managing’ our electricity system.

Voltage control used to switch off rooftop panels

SAPN then had to revert to voltage control to switch off up to another 300MW of rooftop solar and then had to turn to social media to ask others to switch off their rooftop solar systems in order to create enough “load” to help AEMO manage the system.

observa
Reply to  John in Oz
November 16, 2022 7:50 pm

They’re all squawking about it as the interconnector is down to Victoria due to the blow last Saturday which sees SA islanded with renewables dumping we can’t hive off interstate-
https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/thread/9jm6ykrq
Notice the Regulator has even outsmarted those without smart meters/inverters by jacking up the voltage to kill feed-in and they’re not happy.
More commentary about it here-
https://wattclarity.com.au/
https://reneweconomy.com.au/give-us-more-load-why-south-australia-is-trying-to-switch-off-everyones-rooftop-solar/
What you can all look forward to with increasing penetration of weather dependant electricity and its feast or famine rubbish.

old cocky
November 16, 2022 1:52 pm

That “should be allowed” statement stuck out like a sore thumb (or other rather ruder versions). It’s good to see that so many comments have treated it with the derision it deserves.

observa
November 16, 2022 9:49 pm

Chuckle-

Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. I deal with evidence and not with frightening computer models because the seeker after truth does not put his faith in any consensus. The road to the truth is long and hard, but this is the road we must follow. People who describe the unprecedented comfort and ease of modern life as a climate disaster, in my opinion have no idea what a real problem is.
https://climate-science.press/2022/11/16/renewable-south-australia-islanded-flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants-afraid-of-a-solar-surge-on-a-sunny-day/

Iain Reid
November 17, 2022 12:17 am

There is no point in having ‘cheap’ power if it is unreliable.

Because renewables are cheaper to build seems to blind too many people of the fact that because it is unreliable there must also be an equivalent capacity that is readily available and reliable.
From that it is obvious that not building any renewables is both cheaper and provides reliable power.

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