Sep 14, 2011
Universal energy access in Africa requires political willBack
DRC|Engineering|Africa|CoAL|Hydropower|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|DRC|Energy
© Reuse this
In light of social, political and economic challenges on the continent, one might question the ability of governments in Africa to achieve such a tall order as prescribed by the United Nations in 2010.
Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of a UNDP climate change conference, in Johannesburg, Vandeweerd said that Africa was “very capable” of achieving this “ambitious” target.
Africa had all the resources for wind, solar and hydropower development but the catalyst remained political enthusiasm and carbon financing.
However, it was not all about money and technology, Vandeweerd said. “Africa needs to create incentives, institutional structures and a regulatory framework that will attract investment and develop clean technology markets.”
“There is momentum in Africa, and there is ownership by African Ministers in dealing with this important issue.”
Any country that developed its economy on the back of a strategic green strategy, she believed, had the ability to become an economic powerhouse.
In Africa, Vandeweerd identified the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as one of the leading countries in strategically developing its green assets in line with economic development goals.
For example, the DRC has the world’s second-largest tropical forest, with an estimated 133-million hectares, including roughly 100-million hectares of dense rainforests in the Central basin.
According to Greenpeace, in the DRC, greenhouse-gas emissions as a result of deforestation is more than 50 times those of burning fossil fuels. However, the country is forging ahead and making progress with its national strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
She said that South Africa was not one of the world’s “fastest movers”, but indeed a “mover” compared with some of its African counterparts, describing the country’s strategy towards cleaner and greener technologies and its regulatory framework as “impressive.”
Vandeweerd said fossil fuels are becoming more expensive daily, and that, the world is at a point where the cost of producing energy from fossil fuels exceeded the cost of renewable energy.
“The cost of generating electricity from coal is on the rise as countries increasingly accept caps on their greenhouse-gas emissions.
“Fossil fuels are no longer the cheapest source of energy, as they long were, particularly for a big coal-producing country like South Africa, which sits at the source,” Vandeweerd explained.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
International consulting engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) has appointed Salani Sithole as South African MD, effective March 1. Sithole has been with the company for six years and, prior to joining RHDHV, held various positions in engineering consulting,...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.
In a recent letter to the editor that I sent to Engineering News (Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array) and in a follow-up article elaborating further (We must start preparations to build our own synchrotron light source), I stated my...