Africa will require more energy sources than renewables to ensure the continent’s growth and its industrialisation, International Gas Union secretary general elect Andy Calitz told delegates attending the virtual Africa Gas Forum, on March 2.
He said natural gas was already considered to be one of the most important sources of electricity in Africa, and that its use was likely to continue.
Calitz used Egypt as an example of how natural gas can support the establishment of a renewable energy industry.
“Africa needs natural gas for power and for industry, but our continent is a warm continent, meaning that there is no particular large-scale need for natural gas space heating, which is quite unlike North America, Europe, Russia, China and Japan,” he explained.
As far as production of gas and the export thereof is concerned, Calitz commented that “Africa exports almost as much natural gas as it consumes”, adding that when Mozambique reaches the full ambition of its energy export programme, it will “tip the balance in favour of exports”.
Considering that natural gas production brought wealth and capacity building to exporting countries, he highlighted that natural gas developments in Mozambique and Tanzania, for example, “must develop both the east and southern Africa natural gas industries”.
However, he warned that Africa must not have several liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting countries and only one LNG import terminal.
Floating storage units and regasification, which can be built at low cost elsewhere and be redeployed in Africa, is “the best way to bring LNG to Africa”.
Turning to the longer-term future, however, Calitz noted that Africa “has some of the best solar conditions and good winds”, which could “help Africa to be a green hydrogen producer”, which will further expand the role of gas in Africa.
The Africa Gas Forum was hosted on the sidelines of the Africa Energy Indaba.