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Renewables will ease, not solve, Africa's energy woes

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Subject

Green energy in Africa.

Significance

Power firm GSC Energy on February 10 announced it will begin work on a 2.2 billion dollar solar power plant in Cameroon in the second half of 2015. Reflecting a marked uptick in green energy investments, other projects -- such as a new biogas plant in Kenya -- have already begun feeding power directly into national grids, prompting renewed enthusiasm from policymakers.

Impacts

  • State guarantees for power utilities to keep them afloat is expanding the contingent liabilities, and thus fiscal risks, of many states.
  • 'Green building' approaches will grow in popularity where incentives exist, and may draw on indigenous construction methods.
  • Falling diesel prices will likely drive demand for -- and sales of -- individual generators and partially ease pressure on national grids.
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