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.

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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.

via Watts Up With That?

November 16, 2022

Africa: The Place where Claims Renewables are Cheaper Go to Die — Watts Up With That?