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Niger, Africa where 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW

Niger, Africa, is considering building a new small coal fired power station. Greenpeace have protested before at coal power stations in Africa. But how compassionate are those who don’t want Africa to use cheap coal fired power (like, say, professors at western universities?) TonyfromOz puts the issue in perspective. I knew much of Africa was very very poor, but this rather lays the dismal extent out before us. Mali, a nation of 15 million people produces the same amount of electricity as the small town of Dubbo, NSW. Niger, with 17 million, produces even less. All up, there are 23 nations in Africa that each produce less electricity than Dubbo. If we combine them, the 142 million people in those 23 nations are using the same amount of electricity as Adelaide in Australia (which has about 1.1 million people). Stark.

Perhaps we could ask Niger if they’d like to help reduce global temperatures by 0.0 degrees, or if they would rather save money and have electricity that works at night instead?   — Jo

Guest Post – TonyfromOz

Niger, Africa

Recently, a new coal fired power plant was proposed for the country of Niger in Africa. Green heads say Africa should be going “renewable” instead, not producing more CO2.

However, when we look in detail at the power generation in Africa, we see some startling facts about how little electrical power they actually do have.  The total population of the whole of the 58 African countries is at 1.15 Billion people, and probably close to 600 Million people or even more have no access whatsoever to any electrical power, let alone the readily accessible and well regulated supply which we in the Developed World take so utterly for granted.

So then, would this proposed coal fired plant add much to that poor access to electrical power? After all, it’s only a relatively small plant of just one Unit, and the Nameplate Capacity is only 600MW.

Here in Australia, recently, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Professor Jeffrey Sachs was here telling Australians that we need to move closer towards a low carbon economy. One of the things he said was the following: (my bolding)

Actually poorer countries have wonderful options because the price of photo-voltaics is falling so sharply, places like Mali. Actually the low-cost solution is off-grid photo-voltaic power. The fact that we can now put solar panels for pumps for irrigation, for refrigeration, for cold chains, for vaccines, for running schools, for allowing remote schools to be online. Those poor countries have options. — ABC interview

So is small scale Solar PV power any use to countries like Mali?  There are 15.5 million people in Mali and they have a total power generation of 520GWH (gigawatt hours) per year, and while that sounds like quite a lot, it is very small per capita. It is about the same power generation as the town of Dubbo in NSW, Australia — which has only 40,000 people, not 15 million. Mali has 387 times more people than Dubbo has.  And that the city of Dubbo is not special in the developed world. It has average power consumption for a city of that size.

So I invented “the Dubbo-scale” and went hunting to see which African nations have less power generation than Dubbo. (Which is roughly the same size as Bozeman, Montana,  Cupertino city California, or Mentor, Ohio or Perth in Scotland.)

The US EIA  lists power generation data  for all countries.  I then drew up a chart listing all those African countries scoring less than “1″ on the Dubbo-scale of electricity production. There are 23 countries on this list, so more than half of all African nations produce less electricity than Dubbo.

At the bottom of the list of African countries, I have then added up the total population and added up the total power generation. I then found an equivalent Australian city which consumes around the same amount of power as that generated by all 23 of these African countries. That’s Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia.

Country Population Generated Power GigaWattHours (GWH)
Dubbo (A City in Australia)        0.04      Million      520GWH
Benin      10           Million      146GWH
Botswana        2.1        Million      350GWH
Burkina Faso      16.5        Million      540GWH
Burundi      10           Million      152GWH
Cape Verde        0.52      Million      307GWH
Chad      12.6        Million      200GWH
Comoros        0.73      Million        43GWH
Djibouti        0.9        Million      330GWH
Equatorial Guinea        0.75      Million        97GWH
Eritrea        6.2        Million      317GWH
Gambia        2           Million      230GWH
Guinea Bissau        1.7        Million        55GWH
Liberia        4.3        Million      335GWH
Mali      15.5        Million      520GWH
Niger      17.5        Million      300GWH
Rwanda      11.6        Million      300GWH
Saint Helena        0.004    Million          8GWH
Sao Tome and Principe        0.2        Million        60GWH
Seychelles        0.1        Million      304GWH
Sierra Leone        6.1        Million      145GWH
Somalia      10.5        Million      310GWH
Swaziland        1.4        Million      400GWH
Togo        6.8        Million      136GWH
                     Total                              142          Million     6.105TWH
Adelaide (Capital City of South Australia)         1.1       Million                                               6.200TWH
Australia         22        Million  235 TWH
Africa    1,150         Million  655 TWH

 

Not one of those African countries has equivalent power generation even closely comparable in scale to the power consumed in Dubbo, not even the tiny countries reliant on the tourist trade, where availability of power is requisite to cater for those tourists.

However, compare every other country with the power consumed by Adelaide, population 1.1 million. In all of those African countries combined, there would not enough power to support just one developed medium size city.

Those 23 countries have a total population 123 times larger than Adelaide. In fact, there are only 14 countries in Africa which generate more power than Adelaide consumes, and none of those countries is anywhere even close to the rate at which power is being consumed in Adelaide. Instead of Adelaide, it could have been Dallas and San Antonio in Texas or San Diego in California. For Europe, similarly populated cities would be Prague in The Czech Republic, Milan in Italy, and Munich in Germany. Each of these cities would consume more electrical power than the combined 23 countries shown on that table above, which have a total population of 142 Million.

Only ONE country in the whole of Africa generates more power than Australia does (235TWH), and that’s South Africa which generates 243TWH. South Africa has a population of 55 Million people, more than double that of Australia. The next highest power generation in Africa is Egypt, which generates 150TWH, barely two thirds of Australia’s total, and this is for 82 Million people, almost 4 times the population of Australia. These are the only 2 countries in all of Africa to generate more than 100TWH per year. The most populous country in Africa is Nigeria, and that Country only generates 27TWH of power, just more than 10% of that being generated in Australia. However, the population of Nigeria is 180 Million people, 8.2 times as many people as in Australia.

So, how significant would the new coal fired plant proposed for Niger be with respect to the power being generated? It’s one single unit of 600MW Nameplate Capacity, which will deliver 4.6TWH of power each year (or 4,600GWH). This one unit will increase power generation in Niger by a factor of 15. It would generate 75% as much power as is being generated in all 23 of the countries in the table above.

In Australia, the Bayswater, power plant was made in the early 1980′s and has 4 units, each of 660MW. Each year it delivers 17,000GWH of power. This single power station generates almost three times the total power being produced in all of these 23 countries. In Australia, we have 7 large scale power plants around the same sized power output as Bayswater.

So, I’m quite happy to hear of green heads exploding when they read of a new coal fired power plant being constructed, because there is no better place to build one than in Africa. Green protests take hypocrisy to all new heights. This green dream of theirs is that they allow no new coal fired power plants anywhere, and to close down existing plants because of so called CO2 emissions causing dangerous Climate Change. So, in effect, the end result of their green dream is that we go back and live like these African people are already living right now. Who are we to deny these people in Africa access to the electrical power that we take so utterly for granted, most especially those green supporters who take advantage of that ready access to electrical power, and in the same breath seek to deny hundreds of millions of people that same access that they already have.

[Speaking of green heads and electricity, did you know they could grow them like this for just 4c per head? - Jo]

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.

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Niger, Africa where 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW, 8.9 out of 10 based on 86 ratings

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96 comments to Niger, Africa where 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW

  • #
    crakar24

    Once again TFO gives the facts that the green machine dont want the simple folk to see.

    Well done Tony

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    • #
      gesta non verba

      I am absolutely flummoxed that no one has castigated Dubbo for stealing all that electricity from the poor peoples of Africa!

      30

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    • #
      Hat Rack

      Great article by Tony (as usual), followed by an outstanding link from Tom Harley. Once again shows how the do-gooders of this world usually achieve exactly the opposite to what they want to achieve.

      190

  • #
    RoHa

    What do you mean, “Niger Africa”? The full English name of the country is “the Republic of Niger”, and is usually called “Niger”. “Africa” isn’t part of the name.
    And if you are putting “Africa” to tell us where it is, that is just insulting.

    038

    • #

      I would have thought the most insulting thing here is not that I left the full title out, but the fact that 17 million people are asked to survive on less than 60% of the power that is consumed in Dubbo with its 40 thousand people.

      RoHa, I apologise if you’ve taken offense here.

      Tony.

      320

      • #
        RoHa

        The general situation in Africa appalling, and you are quite right in saying that it should be of greater concern than the implication that we do not know where Niger is.

        I am rebuked.

        300

        • #
          Dave

          Tony & Roha,
          I tweeted a link to this article as usual
          And this Nigerian Chap responded spouting the advances in GREEN Energy there?

          The link is OK, I checked it first etc
          GRINLITE ENERGY SOLUTION FOR CHAIRMAN HEIRS HOLDINGS It’s a PDF.

          The whole GREEN parasitic mongrel groups are now in AFRICA
          Apart from the shocking spelling etc, the whole thing lacks detail, MW capacities, just about lacks everything

          Tri-generation is great, but Africa DOES NOT need Central Heating at the moment

          Just wondering if this sort of CON is prevalent across the continent?

          20

    • #
      Radical Rodent

      The title is “Niger, Africa”, thereby placing the country on a continent, helping the few geographically ignorant who may never have heard of the country before. Would you be similarly upset to see “Perth, Australia”? Or would you prefer some to think that the Perth referred to is the city in Scotland?

      130

    • #
      crakar24

      Where you dropped as a child RoHa?

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    • #
      warcroft

      A classic example of disregarding the real issue by bringing up a non-relevant issue in an attempt to discredit the entire argument.

      60

  • #
    Dave

    Once again
    Excellent Tony

    Print, Print Print and I’ll distribute to workers tomorrow

    “The Dubbo Equivalent” is just so simple to understand.

    Thank you (and Jo)

    140

  • #
    RoHa

    That said, if they can manage on such a small amount of electricity, they must have some incredibly sophisticated technology. Is it their own invention, or did they learn it from aliens?

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    • #
      Radical Rodent

      You are displaying a truly remarkable ignorance, RoHa; while you might never have been to Africa, you must have seen some footage on news reports and similar from that continent – many of the people DO still live in mud huts; living a subsidence existence, chipping what little food they can out of the ground, going to bed when it gets dark, getting up early to fetch water from the stream, gather wood for the fire which they cook with; always with the ever-present danger from the local wildlife, and the more prevalent humans willing to prey upon them.

      It might be an idea to educate yourself a little more about the real world before offering your pearls of wisdom.

      112

    • #
      Ian

      I understood why you made your comment on Niger Africa but deplore your apparent lack of understanding of the conditions in that country. The citizens of Niger make do with the limited amount of power they have without supplementation from “aliens” . My comment may well be deleted for this but you come across as extremely stupid for implying the citizens of Niger have some sophisticated technology to “manage on such a small amount of electricity”. You really are a fool as I’m sure the citizens of Niger would be very grateful to have access to as much power as we do in Australia. Your comment is ridiculous and very very insensitive

      62

    • #
      warcroft

      You cant be serious can you? Trolling?

      20

  • #
    Ken Stewart

    I’m flabbergasted. I’m embarrassed that I wasn’t more aware of the energy gap between rich and poor.

    Thank you Tony for publicising this. Suck it up, greens- may your heads explode spectacularly.

    331

    • #
      Peter C

      Agree!

      100

    • #
      King Geo

      Yes this is the real issue. Lomborg has long campaigned against the “Kyoto Protocol”, ie de-carbonise at great cost and try and impose this doctrine on poorer nations e.g. those 3rd World African nations mentioned above. Lomborg says that instead the priority should be to help these 3rd world nations with direct funding & aid. For example the once economically strong EU (now a basket case) has squandered Euros trillions fast tracking to “RE” and are now not in a position to provide aid to these 3rd World nations, and to even suggest that these poor nations should also transition to hopelessly uneconomic RE beggars belief.

      100

  • #
    Hat Rack

    Maybe someone should contact Animals Australia to see if they can get Four Corners to do a special edition about the “Cruelty to Humans by The Greens”.

    211

  • #
    Bloke down the pub

    When you referred to Dubbo, I thought you were talking about a Hornby train-set.

    40

  • #
    the Griss

    Seriously, WTF are these “alternative non-energy” people going on about.

    Fridges need to be able to run 24/7/365.

    Solar CANNOT do that !!

    A few hot cloudy windless days….. no working fridge.. and you lose everything that was in it.

    120

    • #
      Radical Rodent

      What many people do not understand is that there are many who have to live without a fridge – indeed, often the highest-tech item they have around the house is not a wide-screen TV, nor an 8-gig laptop, nor even a hair-drier! No – the highest-tech gadget that they do have is… a box of matches.

      The “Greens” Tony is riling about ought to be hanging their heads in the deepest of shames. Somehow, I doubt they will be, though, as they jet around the world or putter about in their 4x4s and preach their odious beliefs.

      190

    • #
      James Bradley

      And it’s not likely they can afford to replace deep cycle batteries every few years as about a grand a throw.

      Greens are seriously f###ed in the head.

      90

  • #
    bobl

    Let me add some perspective ( hope this pastes ok ) Here’s Tony’s chart with an added Column Watts per person, Dubbo the average PERSON uses 1.5kW averaged over 24 hours a day. Thats 6kW continuous over 24 hours per household of 4 (roughly). If you lived in Chad you’d be allowed 1.8W, to put that into context thats two christmas lights. The USB port used to charge your IPhone provides 2.5W or 1.5 times the amount the average person in Chad would get.
    Enjoy

    Country Population Generated GWh Watts Per person
    Dubbo 0.04 520 1484.018265
    Benin 10 146 1.666666667
    Botswana 2.1 350 19.02587519
    Burkina Faso 16.5 540 3.735990037
    Burundi 10 152 1.735159817
    Cape Verde 0.52 307 67.39550404
    Chad 12.6 200 1.811988113
    Comoros 0.73 43 6.724213423
    Djibouti 0.9 330 41.85692542
    Equato Guinea 0.75 97 14.76407915
    Eritrea 6.2 317 5.836647518
    Gambia 2 230 13.12785388
    Guinea Bissau 1.7 55 3.693258125
    Liberia 4.3 335 8.893490496
    Mali 15.5 520 3.829724554
    Niger 17.5 300 1.956947162
    Rwanda 11.6 300 2.952290978
    Saint Helena 0.004 8 228.3105023
    Sao Tome 0.2 60 34.24657534
    Seychelles 0.1 304 347.0319635

    40

    • #
      bobl

      Nope, didn’t format, Mods, if you insert pre and /pre HTML tags it might come out better… should have previewed, darn.

      10

    • #

      Bob,

      the point here is not the amount of electricity per person. The Capital city of The Republic of Niger is Niamey. It’s population is conjectured to be between 750,000 and 1.2 Million, incidentally, around the same size population as for Adelaide.

      The per capita consumption here is a spurious argument.

      Perhaps some parts of Niamey might have electricity, the central city area, and that would make up a relatively large part of the whole consumption for that Country.

      The remainder of the 16 odd million people have NO electricity, or no access to electricity at all, in any form.

      The same would apply to EVERY Country on that list.

      Of that total population of 142 Million, perhaps as many as 135 to 140 Million people have no electricity at all.

      Tony.

      120

      • #
        bobl

        Tony, I know exactly what argument I’m making.

        When you look at the energy intensity of a country the per capita energy availability is a better metric. Yes Electricity is not evenly distributed, we all know that, but doing it this way puts energy availability into relative terms, it tells you exactly how bad the crisis is. For example on a per capita (relative basis) Ghana is energy poor to the ratio of 1500:1.8 or say 800 x energy poorer than the good people of Dubbo. On the other hand St Helena which seems energy poor with only 8 GWh of generation is 100 x richer than Chad which generates 200 GWh because St Helena offers up 200 W of generation per person, so a household on average might get to use almost a killowatt. (Imdustry aside)

        I think it makes a stark contrast even starker. Im painting a picture here.

        40

        • #
          bobl

          Oops, Chad, not Ghana.

          10

        • #
          bobl

          Oh PS I am also pointing out that if you gave every child a pc – you know that great digital divide Bill Gates program in chad, there’d be an energy crisis since there’s not even enough generation in the whole country to keep them charged up!

          40

      • #
        Ernest Bush

        In the immediate future, the most desperate need for the average African would be the introduction of solar cooking. There have been many demonstration projects built by a handful of organizations, but they don’t have the funding to do Africa-wide projects. The best ideas I think usually involve communal cookers that are made of lots of concrete and metal so that they are not easily moved. Villagers attend demonstrations to learn how to cook on them. The amount of time spent by women and children gathering wood and stooping over to breath the smoke while cooking is huge, sometimes involving walking miles a day looking for dwindling supplies. The smoke is a major health hazard to most African women. That time could be better spent providing more food and getting educated. The designs are sophisticated, yet require little instruction and maintenance. As far as nomadic tribes go, I own a solar oven constructed of fiberglass and aluminum. It will reach a a temperature of 425 degrees year round in Arizona. Relieving the pressure on the local forests has to have great positive ecological consequences.

        The next desperate need is for clean water. As part of my survival gear I have a simple water purification bag made with bubble wrap type material, It has a tube with wax that will melt when the correct temperature for sterilization is reached. It will sterilize a half gallon of water in less than two hours in the heat of the day.

        As far as electricity goes, small projects to power community LED lights for a few hours a night would greatly increase productivity and time for education. The projects would have to be really beefy and have this problem: the batteries are only good for 1,000 charges, so there is a maintenance cost and they would have to be heavily protected against looting.

        It has been pointed out that the biggest problem here is governments. In this case it is both those in the West who want to bend Africa to their Warmist agendas and those of Africa who don’t want healthy, educated populations. However, in general, simple solutions that upgrade and lift the lives of most Africans out of the misery of their daily routines need to be simple and cheap by Western culture standards.

        33

        • #
          Plain Jane

          Concrete, metal, fibreglass, bubblewrap, aluminium, special temperature wax, LED light bulbs, batteries, battery chargers …. these are not simple technologies. You need an advanced first world economy to have these type of high tech materials. The locals dont use these type of things you mention, not because they are too dumb and need educating by use enlightened westerners, but because they are not available.

          Thats the whole point about development, often a better “environment” goes with it.

          There is nothing “simple” about your water purification bag.

          130

          • #
            bobl

            Agreed, personally I think a few big coal power stations and some poles and wires would solve all these problems.

            40

        • #
          John

          If one had a budget to provide cooking devices to remote African villages, would it be more cost effective to set them up with propane or solar cookers? Doesn’t the Dominican Republic provide propane to its people for this very purpose?

          00

  • #
    PhilJourdan

    I have seen the figures before, but it is always good to see then in a coherent article.

    The simple fact of the matter is that there is no plan that would curtail the level of CO2 released by Man, there is no evidence showing CO2 to be harmful, and every solution proposed has 2 key points. The first is that it is impotent to the stated purpose. The second is that it will kill more people today than anyone even remotely projects to protect in the future.

    In short. CAGW is not about science or climate. it is about fulfilling the Malthusian dream.

    200

    • #
      PhilJourdan

      no plan that would curtail the level of CO2 released by Man

      I inadvertently omitted the word “significantly” between would and curtail.

      30

  • #
    Michael Woods

    But the greens don’t need to explain anything! We already know they would prefer the people of Dubbo to live in poverty like those people in Africa.

    120

  • #
    Senex Bibax

    Some African countries are taking bold steps. Ethiopia is in the middle of building a large hydro-electric project on the Blue Nile.

    Renewables such as solar and wind may be useful in bringing small scale power to rural villages, but not to support the modernization of infrastructure of large cities in Africa, with quickly growing needs for lighting, water and sanitation, transport, health care, refrigeration (for a reliable food supply), communications etc. I’ve experienced the unreliability of existing electricity infrastructure in places like Addis Abeba. The idea of the city relying on photovoltaics during the three month long rainy season is laughable.

    150

  • #
    John

    PhilJourdan,

    Your summary of this issue is about as well stated as I have ever seen in both simplicity and forcefulness. If you don’t mind, I am going to use it.

    60

  • #
    It doesn't add up...

    There are two key resources needed to run a coal power station: coal, and water. Niger has the coal – the proposed station is next to a mine with 70 million tonnes of it. A 600 MWe coal-fired power station operating at 38% efficiency and 75% overall availability will consume approximately 1.5 million tonnes/annum (CV 6000 kcal/kg).

    Niger is also a key source of uranium – particularly for the French, whose former colony it is – but running a nuclear plant in such a country has obvious difficulties. Supposedly, there is also plenty of water under the desert too, but water management has been a problem. Of course, power allows water to be pumped in pipes, rather than extracted in local wells.

    Incidentally, much of the country’s power consumption is almost certainly in its mines rather than its cities.

    20

  • #

    Do these stats take into account importing of electricity from other countries? I know Zambia, e.g., imports electricity from South Africa.

    10

    • #

      Richard,

      thanks for the comment.

      Actually, South Africa, which has the largest power generation of any Country in Africa exports power to Zambia as you mentioned, as well as into Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, as well as partially supporting Lesotho and Swaziland.

      I mention in the main Post that even South Africa does not even come close to having the same electrical power consumption that we have here in Australia, and while their power generation is slightly higher than ours, they then use that to support a population of 55 Million people, so the exporting of any power into neighbouring Countries actually means less for South Africa, making them also energy poor with respect to Developed Countries, and even in doing that, it is still a huge amount less than what is actually needed in those other other Countries, which have a combined population of around 65 Million as well.

      Now note from the original article at the top of my Post which announced this new power plant for Niger, where it says this:

      Once self sufficiency is achieved, Niger will also export electricity to neighboring countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin.

      Self sufficiency for Niger ….. from one 600MW unit ….. for 17.5 Million people, and they can then export some of that power to those 3 nearby Countries with a total population of 42 Million.

      So, even though power is exported into nearby Countries, there is NO Country which even comes close to the power consumption levels we take for granted.

      Tony.

      60

  • #
    Pathway

    So could we say that the Greens are really the new racist, because they don’t want black people to have the same energy availability as white people?

    161

    • #
      Robert

      Pointman did a nice write up that I would say answers your question. I stumbled upon it by accident a few days before he posted the link here about a week or so back. For any who might have missed it:

      Why the developing world hates environmentalists.

      Have a cousin who has been doing missionary work in Africa for over a decade now, I’m sure it would have made her work much easier if there had been steady, reliable power in some of the places she’s been.

      120

    • #
      Kevin Lohse

      You can’t call the Green’s policy racist. They want everyone in the world to have the same available power as the African population. Misanthropic, misguided, unrealistic, yes. Racist, no.

      70

  • #

    Excellent work, Tony.

    But you see, there’s one problem. Assuming The Nigerans do get electrical power, where does that leave rich white Western eek!ophiles? Do enough of that in the developing world, and you will have a dwindling supply of the Picturesque Poor to gawk at and photograph while enjoying your eek!otourist rambles.

    30

  • #
    PeterK

    Great post Tony!

    I think back to when I was 5-years old – 1955. I remember seeing trucks drilling holes and sliding poles into them. Then other men came and strung wires. And eventually our town was electrified. This was in rural Saskatchewan here in Canada.

    As I learned years later, this was our Provincial Government at the time borrowing money to electrify the Province. This entailed the building of coal fired power plants and the infrastructure to transmit the electricity to where it was needed.

    Today, if the Greens really wanted to make the world a better place; all they would have to do is scrap the crap that they are doing and devise a plan with governments that would build large coal fired power plants in strategical places in Africa and from these plants the basic infrastructure to carry the electricity to the where the people live and would benefit the greatest from it.

    I could see a period of 20+ years in getting this done, however, this would require the Greens and the current governments to redirect the currently wasted money on all the green crap (technology and the financial schemes) and probably would only be a fraction of the billions wasted.

    We would not only improve the lives of millions of people but we would set the stage for the future development of Africa as a whole. Just think what this continent could contribute if given the chance and in the process would improve the lot of most of the people in Africa.

    This takes leadership – something so lacking in todays world. Imagine if Obama had really wanted to leave a positive legacy, this would have been something he could have spearheaded and he would forever have a place of remembrance not only in the USA but in Africa and the world as a whole. Remember the Marshall Plan after WWII?

    I guess I can only dream.

    90

    • #
      PeterK

      I could add, by doing this we would basically contribute 0 degrees C warming while helping out our severely depleted atmosphere with additions of CO2 which in turn would make things greener in developing Africa (more food). There would be thousands of other benefits that would piggyback on the electrification of Africa.

      70

  • #

    The electrification of Africa is not a new issue. I first remember hearing this in grade school 50 years ago. At that time, coal was the primary means of producing power.

    We learned then, in 1964, that Africa had vast resources of coal but almost zero electricity. The teacher was allowed to ask us why we thought that was the case? Our young minds had no idea. The fact was then, and has been for 50 years, that African governments do not want their citizens to enjoy advanced living conditions. Abundant and cheap electricity leads to education, knowledge, and rebellion.

    Something to think about. No matter what form the power plants take, coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, it does not matter. Until the political, structural systems in place change their views, nothing else will change.

    Fifty years of no progress should be self-evident to the Western think-tanks and professors.

    90

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      Backslider

      No.

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      StefanL

      Read the fine print.
      “The power surplus allows administrators to sell daytime overage back to the grid and function on grid energy at night, with diesel generators for backup.”

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    diogenese2

    Jo – Tony is an almost priceless asset to this blog. Such a grasp of the technical detail of the generation, distribution, use and consequence of energy coupled with the ability to plainly contextualise the issues is outstanding. I have learned more about the subject from him than the rest of the internet, and unlearned a large quantity of dross. It has also produced the most informed and enlightened comment (ALMOST troll free) of any post I have seen here.
    All of the nations mentioned are parties to the UNFCCC, “unannexed” in respect of the Kyoto protocol – but part of the global authority ( the conference of the parties COP).
    This is the real (political) determinant of the CAGW issue. It will not disappear because a casual glance at the UNCFCC website will show the enormous investment that has been made and the critical importance of this issue as a GLOBAL political dialogue. Without CAGW the UN has nothing to talk about, even the Islamic civil war, its resolution being beyond their capacity.
    The crucial developments will occur at COP20 (Peru December)
    COP 21 (Paris Nov 2015). The “science” discussed in excruciating detail on many blog sites is irrelevant, CAGW has always been a political issue. The crucial point to notice is that IPCC AR5 (after all the instrument of the COP) does not declare a “mean value” for climate sensitivity, crucial to the workings of the UNFCCC. The decision is with the next 2 COP’s. The BRICS and the developing nations are winning. Tony is showing exactly why.

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    malteser

    No wonder the starving Africans are abandoning their home countries and fleeing to Europe; those who survive the journey I mean, after having survived the famines and diseases.

    Can someone please ask the UN to put up an arrest warrant on whoever is responsible for the thousands of unnecessary deaths in Africa due to green policies? Wait a minute; the UN cannot arrest itself

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    clive

    I think we are in big trouble,when our (supposedly)smartest people(our Western Universities) say that the developing countries should use solar power instead of coal for their electrical needs. As for Greenpiece,WWF and all the Enemies of Progress,we should all follow what India and NZ did and Outlaw these Unelected NAZIS,because they are a threat to our various countries Progress and prosperity.

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        diogenese2

        The article shows the case and its requirements -
        “high price and unreliability of grid power” – the need for diesel generators as back up when the grid fails at night.
        In other words Solar Power provides a (unit) saving against an unreliable and high priced grid supply (also a hint of a feed in tariff price for excess daytime generation).
        As an alternative to cheap and reliable grid supply – useless!

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        Backslider

        is there a case for solar

        No.

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        CameronH

        The article states that grid power in high priced and unreliable. This is not the case in a country like Australia, for example. Grid power here is inexpensive to produce and extremely reliable. It is the endless government meddling in the electricity markets, price manipulation with such things as a carbon dioxide tax and the renewable energy targets, and unrealistic government demands on transmission and distribution system standards that increase the end cost to consumers and degrades reliability of supply. I would suggest that the same applies to countries like Haiti.

        To answer your question about a case for solar. It is OK for stand alone systems in remote areas but absolutely useless for supplying inexpensive and reliable base load power for sensible economic development.

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    Great post Jo -
    school-children can be resourceful -
    Guinean schoolchildren in the capital Conakry who, lacking electricity in their homes, seek out lighted areas at night to study – airport, petrol stations, roundabouts.
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=2289

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    Yonniestone

    TonyfromOz should have a seat in the senate, this country needs good intelligent people who know what the realities in life really are and have the ability to convey these realities to the public, in the same spirit of private enterprise leading the way, politics in Australia needs this injection of independence and sanity.

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      CameronH

      The fact that Tony is intelligent and knows what the realities in life really are is precisely why he would not be selected by any political party for a senate position.

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    Rud Istvan

    TFO, thanks for this post, and thanks to Joanne for hosting it. One thing to generally be aware of something. Quite another to have the cold hard facts in such a brilliantly condensed form. I propose your new Dubbo unit as a new SI metric, required to be used in all future IPCC WG2 analyses.
    PhilJordan, as succinct as it gets. Look at the brilliance the Dubbo unit is summoning forth.
    Inspiring, both.

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    Roy Hogue

    I see a whole lot of nice arguments against Tony’s “Green Heads”. But what we need is a way to chop off those Green Heads. Not literally of course but a way to render them powerless to influence both political and technological decisions.

    It needs to be done everywhere too, not just in Niger.

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      Roy Hogue

      It’s going to take a fight to do it and the sooner it happens the better for everyone. Australia has made a very good start but in 3rd world countries they don’t have the luxury of voting in a Tony Abbott.

      How do we get them that power?

      And how do we get rid of the madness gripping the United States, the UK and the United Nations?

      If enough of the major problem players can be made to fall the rest might come tumbling down of their own dead weight.

      We need to be talking about fighting this stuff, not discussing how inadequate it is. We already know it doesn’t do the job. What we don’t know is how to get rid of it.

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    Rod Stuart

    Say it isn’t so. Some yahoo outfit in the UK are hosting cook the books and Mann made gerbil worming.

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    pat

    great post, TonyfromOz -

    i’ve posted the following on the Tic-tic-tic thread (also a live abc blog link on the repeal in the Sentate) but it deserves to be posted here as well.

    if only someone in the Senate would have the guts to read this into the record!

    17 July: Bloomberg: Mario Parker: Hungry U.S. Power Plant Turns to Russia for Coal Shipment
    When New Hampshire’s largest utility needed to rebuild coal supplies after the past frigid winter, it turned to Russia rather than Appalachia in the U.S. Northeast or Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
    The Doric Victory, a bulk carrier the length of two football fields, transported the fuel almost 4,000 miles (6,436 kilometers) from Riga, Latvia, last month to Public Service of New Hampshire’s Schiller power plant in Portsmouth, a 150-megawatt facility that’s produced electricity since 1952…
    Utilities in the U.S. are scrambling for coal, on pace to increase imports 26 percent this year, as railroad bottlenecks slow deliveries and electricity demand climbs with an improving economy. Russia, the world’s third-largest exporter of the fuel, will boost shipments 3.9 percent to 106 million metric tons this year, IHS Energy forecasts, part of President Vladimir Putin’s plan to expand Russia’s role in the global coal market.
    “Everyone’s aware that a number of plants have low stockpiles, so you hear Russian coal and they say, ‘Oh wow, people must really be desperate,’” James Stevenson, Houston-based director of North American coal at IHS, said in a July 8 telephone interview…
    ***In 2012, Putin pledged to spend $120 billion in public and private funds to expand Russia’s coal mining capacity and boost exports through 2030. The country has the second-largest reserves behind the U.S., government data show.
    Russia’s abundant supply of natural gas, also used to generate electricity, gives it the ability to flood the seaborne coal market, the U.S. Energy Department says.
    ***Exports from Russia have swelled 94 percent from January 2010 through May, data compiled by Bloomberg show…
    U.S. utilities burned 30 million tons of coal inventories in the first quarter, EIA data show. March was the coldest for the month since 2002 in the contiguous 48 U.S. states, according to the National Climatic Data center, boosting power demand. In spring, an increase in oil and ethanol transport clogged the railways and slowed efforts by power generators to rebuild supply…
    ***Some utilities have as little as 20 days of reserves, Bill Davison, vice president of thermal coal sales at Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR), said last month at a conference in New York…
    “If you are on the Atlantic Coast, you have a chance to buy imported coal,” Stevenson said. “If you’re a utility you have to act now and throughout the second half of the year in case there’s a colder winter than last year.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-15/hungry-u-s-power-plant-turns-to-russia-for-coal-shipment.html

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      Thanks pat.

      Note where pat quotes here: (my Bolds)

      The Doric Victory, a bulk carrier the length of two football fields, transported the fuel almost 4,000 miles (6,436 kilometers) from Riga, Latvia, last month to Public Service of New Hampshire’s Schiller power plant in Portsmouth, a 150-megawatt facility that’s produced electricity since 1952…

      That’s 62 years so far, and still delivering its power.

      Wind power and Solar power can only dream of this.

      Build Wind plants or Solar plants in Africa. Yeah! Right!

      This one proposed plant for Niger will still be delivering power for a full 40 years AFTER any wind or solar plant expires.

      Tony.

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    pat

    so many laughs in this piece!

    9 July: Reuters: Michael Szabo: Three firms buy 510,000 African carbon credits in H1 2014
    Three major international commodity traders bought a total 510,000 African carbon offsets from clean energy project developer ecosur afrique in the first half of 2014, showing some demand still exists for credits from the battered U.N. market.
    The credits – known as Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) are to be delivered to the buyers Vitol, Bunge and Shell Trading before the end of 2015, ecosur CEO Fabrice Le Sache told Reuters on Wednesday.
    ***The CERs are sourced from four projects in Burundi and one in Uganda…
    Le Sache said some CER demand remains, especially for those approved by Swiss-based certifier Gold Standard, a process that is seen as improving their environmental credibility…
    Ecosur afrique said it has 20 CDM projects registered in sub-Saharan Africa, making it the region’s largest developer.
    Le Sache said ecosur, which is headquartered in Mauritius and Ivory Coast will in November open a European office in Brussels, where the firm’s new trading division will be based.
    With a staff of three in the Belgian capital, the firm will trade CERs, EU Allowances and voluntary carbon credits, as well as other agricultural commodities, on behalf of clients and as part of a proprietary portfolio, he added…
    ***Le Sache would not disclose further details of the deals but said the contracts were all negotiated with a floating sale price based on the market rate for CERs.
    ***According to London-based exchange ICE, CERs for delivery in December were worth around 16 cents each on Wednesday…
    ***On Wednesday, the U.N.’s climate secretariat announced it would encourage its staff and their families to buy the credits to offset their personal day-to-day emissions.
    Staff can purchase CERs from the U.N.’s Adaptation Fund, which is supported in part by a two percent levy on all issued credits but is facing a dearth of cash due to low CER prices and few projects requesting credits…
    http://af.reuters.com/article/burundiNews/idAFL6N0PK3J020140709

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    stan stendera

    You rock Tony from Oz.

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    Geoffrey Williams

    To Tony Oz:
    Great News today on the abolition of the so called carbion tax! and a very informative article from yourself.
    Listening to the cries opposition today I think that it is more important than ever that members of the Abbot government are aware of, and inform the people of Australia about Greenpeace attitudes towards poor African countries trying to develop their coal fired power industry for their betterment. It is intolerable (and inhumane) that anyone, let alone Greenpeace should have the right to deny Africans the safe, cheap energy they urgently need. (Solar panels on roofs are just a gimmick!)
    This argument should used every time Christine Milne and co. talk about the future of our grandchildren.
    Geoff W. Sydney

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    Ross

    So the Green heads complain about ONE coal fired power station in Niger. What about the 20 or so new ones being built in Germany ?? ( Probably many of these Green heads will be kept warm a few winters time by those new plants)

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      James Murphy

      Isn’t it strange that they are also very quiet about the new nuclear plants being planned in the UK? Also strange that they do not lambast Japan for jumping onto gas as a nuclear replacement… (at least, not that I have seen, anyway)

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    Streetcred

    Extensive use of cheap coal fired power stations in Africa, replacing biomass … that is cutting down and burning the natural vegetation … would probably bring twofold benefits, (1) Africans will be uplifted through access to energy, and (2) the general environment would benefit greatly through the elimination of degradation of the air, the vegetation and soil. Green fascists wouldn’t want that … lose all of those grants, donations, and power over the needy.

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    I know that this Post mentions only those 23 Countries with really low power generation, but at that EIA list of generation from those African Countries, look at the 3 largest generating Countries, and I’ve added Australia for comparison purposes.

    Australia – Population 22 Million – Total Generation 235TWH

    South Africa – Population 55 Million – Total Generation 243TWH

    Egypt – Total Population 85 Million – Total Generation 150TWH

    Algeria – Total Population 40 Million – Total Generation 50TWH

    Now, I know colonialisation (read that word carefully) has long since been discredited, but note that those three Countries all had strong Colonial links to their, umm, parent Country, Algeria to France and the other two as former British Colonies.

    But it would seem that one advantage of those Countries is that their former parent did in fact construct (relatively) large scale electrical power generation to run those Countries, and now that those Countries have independence, they have the advantages of having that all in place.

    There have been other Countries which have been former colonies, but on lesser scales than these three Countries. Even basket case former Colony Countries like Zimbabwe still have 7TWH of generation, which is way more than those 23 Countries in total on that table above.

    Tony.

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      Wally

      I believe similar situation in PNG: The generation was built when Australia was the Colonial power. Since then… not much.

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    Greg

    Good article and good point about the how little the green dogma cares about people in poor countries, except when it suits their argument.

    Mind you, the same could be said for the other side which seems to have suddenly developed a great empathy for the third world which was not that visible before.

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    Greg

    However, for someone who apparently writes on topics related to electrical power generation, it would be better if learnt the correct way to write the units and learnt the difference between power and energy. It would improve the credibility.

    which will deliver 4.6TWH of power each year (or 4,600GWH)

    This error in repeated throughout the article.

    The units are GWh and TWh. They are units of energy not power. Power is a measure of instantaneous production, energy is cummulative total over a period of time.

    Energy relates to the amount of “carbon” released, power does not.

    It’s like the difference between kilometers and kilometers per hour. You’d look pretty dumb if you were writing about the speed of cars but giving it in kilometers or gave the distance from Adelaide to Alice in kilometers per hour !

    When I clicked “carry on reading” I thought he was going to actually give some comparison to solar in stead of just poo-pooing it.

    For a lot of Africa, that is decades away from reliable, wide spread power distribution networka, off-grid solar provides the possibility of power whereas centralised generation does not.

    The only reasonable comparison is diesel powered generators, not 600GW coal plants.

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    Greg

    a total power generation of 520GWH (gigawatt hours) per year

    even more confused. This is total energy per year or average power. If you want to measure average power why do it in power * time / time units. Use gigawatts: GW.

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    cedarhill

    Energy is life. Cheap energy is prosperity.

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    hunter

    Yet another disturbing similarity to the eugenics nastiness of the last century:
    The progressive leaders of the eugenics movement knew it was better for the inferior races to have their breeding controlled for the good of the advanced race.
    The progressive leaders of today know it is good for the inferior races to have their energy future controlled for the good of the advanced race.

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    JohnB

    It’s just a thought, but could the “Carbon market” be used to keep the 3rd world down?

    If they develop, then they won’t have the carbon credits to sell, will they? Once again, a slick trick to keep them poor.

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    pattoh

    Excellent post Tony!

    I am sure the SI/CGS purists in the EU will have as much trouble converting “Dubbos”as “SydHarbs”, but it will give them something to do on the cool European winter days to come.

    Perhaps they will counter with a Carbon efficiency unit in Metric Tonnes( CO2) per Dubbo per Annum.

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    This might seem a little indulgent of me, but bear with me, as there is a point.

    I’ve often wondered how, in Posts similar to this, when facts like those in this Post are highlighted, you never see any of the usual suspects from the opposite side of this debate to the one we express coming and leaving comments.

    Here, at this site, there are a few of them, and they comment fairly regularly at nearly all of the other Posts, but never in Posts like this one here. We all know who they are, and that’s why this site is so good, because they all get a go here, unlike other sites, where those from our side are just not tolerated, hence our comments do not get an airing.

    However, in Posts like this ….. nothing but deathly silence from all of them. They comment at will at all those other Posts.

    Think about that.

    So, in another Post I asked one of those people (in this case Chester) why they never comment at Posts like this one, and Chester actually gave a response.

    However, that response was very cleverly done, and I’ll show you why.

    Long after this Post has gone down the list of Posts, there will still be people coming here and reading it, perhaps even referring to it. They’ll read the comments and there will be no negative responses from any of those people that would give an insight as to their thinking and their opinion on the subject.

    Not here, directly anyway, as perhaps a dissenting opinion might reflect badly on them.

    So Chester offered an opinion, not here so people might see it and note the mindset of those from that side of the debate, but in that other Post where no one will ever see it, a cunning ploy so Chester can scoff, without the possibility of it being seen here in the main Post where everyone can see it for what it really is.

    So, to show a dissenting opinion here, I’ll copy Chester’s Comment in full here, so that opinion will be there, at the original Post, and for all to see, and not be forgotten. Now, to show that I’m being fair about it, and not misrepresenting Chester, this is the link to that full Comment.

    This is the full text of that Comment:

    Your poorly written post made no coherent points. You made no reasonable argument that the country’s needs could not be met by renewable/sustainable sources. why give them a power plant that will become obsolete and exceedingly expensive within a few years? Your post was written under the assumption that CO2 is not an issue – that’s just plain stupid and ignoring reality in preference to your religious-like belief that AGW is not happening.

    I couldn’t care less how poorly it was written. I take full responsibility for that.

    No coherent points. Really?

    Renewable/sustainable. Obviously, Chester has done no real research into that, and will believe anything Chester is told to believe.

    Obsolete and exceedingly expensive within a few years. Again, Chester has no idea here.

    The rest was just confirmation of Chester’s religious belief.

    Note how Chester has concentrated on the things Chester thinks are important, and not once a mention of how dire a situation these people are in because they have no access to electricity, well no access to electricity on the scale that Chester has anyway.

    Chester, people like you give your side of the debate a bad name, a very very bad name, and you need to be called out for it.

    Tony.

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      John

      Well here is the thing. If Coal weren’t the best choice for meeting people’s energy needs, they wouldn’t be choosing it. If someone has a more efficient, effective plan to bring these people out of poverty, submit it.

      Why is Germany choosing coal?

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    Just the way the UN, environmentalists and the population alarmists want it.

    “Global Warming” was never about science or the atmosphere:

    http://climatism.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/in-searching-for-a-new-enemy-to-unite-us-we-came-up-with-the-threat-of-global-warming/

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    [...] that same access that they already have. This article also appears at the JoNova site in Australia at this link, and if you visit, the Post also has relatively open commenting  at the bottom of the [...]

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