MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Africa’s Path to Energy Prosperity Is with Free Markets, Not Eco-Colonialism

Posted by M. C. on September 6, 2022

If California and Germany did not succeed at their solar and wind experiments, no rational person would expect underdeveloped countries to succeed at it. So, it is malicious to coerce African countries into an energy “transition” that the developed world is failing to achieve.

https://mises.org/wire/africas-path-energy-prosperity-free-markets-not-eco-colonialism

Manuel Tacanho

The ongoing energy crunch has revealed the hypocritical, if not duplicitous, nature of the Western imposition of climate and energy transition goals on other nations. Of course, we care about environmental protection, but the current arrangement amounts to eco-colonialism, is wildly detached from local realities, and severely hurts African economies and lives. For these and other reasons, African leaders should assert energy policy independence if they intend to serve and protect Africa’s socioeconomic well-being.

Africa must finally and truly develop. Access to dense, dispatchable, reliable, abundant, and cheap energy goods and services is crucial. Fossil fuels, which Africa has enormous quantities of, are best positioned to meet present and future demand. Today’s energy crisis conclusively shows that solar panels and wind turbines are not economically, materially, and ecologically viable alternatives.

If California and Germany did not succeed at their solar and wind experiments, no rational person would expect underdeveloped countries to succeed at it. So, it is malicious to coerce African countries into an energy “transition” that the developed world is failing to achieve.

Severe Energy Poverty

There is energy poverty everywhere, even in Western countries. But countries and regions are not equally energy poor. Africa, the least developed region, is, of course, the most energy poor. No need to turn this part of the article into a poverty porn session by presenting numerous statistics about the severity of energy poverty that plagues and cripples Africa. Still, some facts are worth pointing out.

N.J. Ayuk, chairman of the African Energy Chamber, notes that:

It is not an exaggeration to say energy poverty is one of our continent’s most pressing problems: Only 56% of Africa’s population has access to electricity today, and in many places, that power is still inadequate and unreliable at best. We address this topic in our recently released report, The State of African Energy 2022.

“Comprehensive energy access across the continent remains a central target, with some 600 million people without access to electricity today,” says the report. “Moreover, households themselves, facing low and inadequate supply of electricity, often rely on highly polluting traditional energy sources such as hard biomass, which constitutes 45% of total primary energy demand in Africa.”

See the rest here

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