Resistance to rapid renewable energy expansion is still high, despite the acknowledged costs in climate change. The U.S. Power Africa initiative still funds predominately natural gas, although its investment in renewables is growing. In Kenya, the Kenyan and Chinese governments are pushing ahead with a coal-fired generation plant in Lamu, despite strong resistance from local environmentalists and the fact that China is rapidly abandoning coal at home. Nevertheless, technological changes and rising awareness of the damage done by fossil fuels are propelling new advances on many fronts.
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains links and brief excerpts from articles and reports documenting both progress and the potential for more rapid progress for renewable energy on several fronts in the African context. Particularly notable are reports on off-grid solar, the best known option for rural African households; on solar and wind mini-grids, which have great potential which is also beginning to received significant investment, and on the steadily increasing role of renewable energy in the Power Africa portfolio, in contrast to the “all of the above” mantra as initially launched by the Obama administration.
Also of note are the increasing scope of civil society protests as well as broader international trends in driving the turn away from fossil fuels. This is highlighted in particular by the continuing resistance to the Lamu coal project in Kenya, and by the advance of renewable energy in the United States despite the campaign against it being waged by the Trump administration.
The Lamu project is the focus of the Decoalonize initiative (http://www.decoalonize.org/) The Africa affiliates of the 350.org project ( https://350africa.org/) are also active, particularly in South Africa and Ghana. The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (http://www.pacja.org/) brings together national and regional coalitions from around the continent. And the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (http://www.arei.org/) brings together African governmental agencies to shape a continent-wide framework.
On May 25, climate justice groups in Africa will be holding “Fossil Free” protests in at least eight countries. http://tinyurl.com/yd6vxbpd. Read the whole article here