Will the energy transition lead to a new kind of colonialism?

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By Blackout-News.de

It is already clear today that there is too little space for the energy transition with wind power and solar plants in Germany. The expansion of renewable energies planned by Economics Minister Habeck to 2 percent of the country’s surface area will not be enough to cover our future electricity needs with more and more heat pumps and electric cars. In addition, there is the need for green hydrogen, which is intended to serve as a storage medium on one hand and to replace both natural gas and coal on the other. That is why Economics Minister Habeck wants to import green hydrogen mainly (businessinsider: 30.03.32). To this end, countries in Africa and South America are primarily to contribute to hydrogen production. Does the energy transition lead to neo-colonialism?

Poor African countries to solve our energy problem

Countries like Angola should supply green hydrogen to Germany (Blackout News: 30.06.22). For this purpose, a large part of the electricity of the hydropower plants is to be used, although a good half of the population there has no access to electricity. Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, also dreams of earning money with hydrogen for Europe. In February, Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed commissioned the first of ten turbines at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The megaproject on the Nile is the largest dam in Africa. In Ethiopia, too, only a small minority has access to electricity.

Will the energy transition lead to a new kind of colonialism? Poor African countries should solve
our energy problem Image: EribetoCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The dam on the Nile is also highly explosive, because it disturbs the water supply of other residents on the Nile. Egypt has even threatened military intervention if no agreement is reached on water use. Purely ecologically, projects such as those in Angola or Ethiopia would not be enforceable in Europe, because these dams deeply affect the existing ecosystems.

In addition, there are always thoughts of building large solar projects for hydrogen production in the deserts of Morocco, Tunisia or Algeria. These are all countries that already have problems maintaining their energy supply. The Desertec project has already failed because of this. Because these states first wanted to use the electricity generated there for themselves.

Angola is to supply hydrogen for Germany. A good 50 percent of the population in Angola have no electricity
Image: Capanda Dam in Angola, Igor MorozovCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brazil targeted as an export country for green hydrogen

But not only in Africa, but also in South America, corresponding hydrogen arms are to be created. Brazil is already in its sights (Mercury: 11.08.22). It is only a matter of time before primeval forest for wind power and solar power plants is cleared there as soon as money can be earned with hydrogen exports.

Sunset over a wind farm in Tramandai/Brazil: The Latin American country meets many requirements for the expansion of renewable energies. 
© Fotoarena / Imago

Europe heralds a new kind of colonialism

From German environmentalists, who already prevent the operation of small hydropower plants in our country, one hears almost nothing about the overexploitation in these countries. Projects such as those in Africa and South America would no longer be feasible in Europe. The uprising of environmental organizations would be too great. Ultimately, the indigenous population in these countries will not have any advantages either. It will come as in the colonial era; the rich West gets its required energy there as cheaply as possible and in the affected countries almost nothing will improve. By shifting our energy supply to much poorer countries, we are only ushering in a new kind of colonialism.