Europe Returns to Coal and Lessons for Africa

Europe Returns to Coal and Lessons for Africa

I have written here that Africa must not allow Europe to write our energy policy. When Europe says that you should discard coal, watch very carefully, it is very convenient for Europe to do away with coal. Simply, its policy framework which it exports to the whole world is based on the thesis of its comparative advantages. When those advantages fade, you will see a big irony:

‘Brussels and NGOs have expressed concerns about several European Union countries, including Germany, reverting to using coal for power generation as the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine hits energy supplies.

“We have to make sure that we use this crisis to move forward and not to have a backsliding on the dirty fossil fuels,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told several European media outlets in an interview on Tuesday.’

Registration for Tekedia Mini-MBA edition 9 (Sep 12- Dec 3 2022) has startedRegister here. Cost is N60,000 or $140 for the 12-week program.

They convinced us to close factories by shutting down coal plants to save the planet. Today, Europe is restarting coal plants because they need energy as energy prices rise due to war in Ukraine.

African leaders, lead with confidence and boldness; the world must not use us for experiments. I support the saving of the climate but things have to be nuanced and pragmatic.

We have not solved global warming but Europe has started firing coal plants again. Yes, you can blame Russia but that does not change the equation: some policies are based on convenience and not orthodoxy of unalloyed principles.

This is the deal: Africa must define its future based on its positioning and improve itself so that these countries and regions do not toss it around. Across Africa, many factories which were powered by coals were encouraged to shut down to save the world from burning. But here instead of Europe following through, they ignored their books and are making coals friends again.

That is a big lesson for African policymakers.

Comment on LinkedIn Feed

Comment 1: I find it very dogmatic when as see some Africans defend the claim of “renewable energy while the West keep lecturing Africa to move away from fossil fuels and yet their own economies runs on the same fossil fuel.

The same countries that became economic powers on the back of coal, gas, etc are telling the rest of the world to discard these sources of energy – hypocrites.

Comment 2: In my opinion we should be pragmatic and make sure we do not undercut the need to be forward thinking, innovative and discover local assets. Send this to the leaders verbatim and all they’ll do is open up coal factories and ask for loans and donation to operate them. That is still follow-follow.

Africa has the resources to excel where Europe is failing. The future of energy lies on the continent – the continent has to evolve and find its own way. All the resources required for virtually any type of energy production exists in Africa.

(Quick add)
And, others may jettison environment protection but Africa can innovate around how to sensibly reclaim it!

Comment 3: Great and timely interventions my Prof. Except for Mandela and few others, it is true that African leaders are generally shy at the global stage, politicswise and policywise. To check this Eurocentricism, African leaders must lead with boldness and confidence. That is the only way they will stop us from being used as a laboratory for testing western ideas and ideals.

Comment 4: Confident leadership it has to be. Perhaps African leaders could instead look to India who on one hand has demonstrated clear commitments to reducing their carbon emissions but have refused to be drawn into making net zero emission commitments by any set date. They have insisted that the commitment to reducing climate change must be balanced by it’s responsibility to meet its own domestic developmental goals, and so should African countries.

---

1. Advance your career, run your business better with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sep 12 – Dec 3, 2022): cost is N60,000 naira ($140). Click and register here.

2. Click and register for Tekedia Startup Masterclass and master business secrets from start-up to unicorn. Cost is N180,000 naira ($400).

3. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.


Share this post

9 thoughts on “Europe Returns to Coal and Lessons for Africa

  1. African leaders should lead with confidence and boldness? Is this a wish or an encouragement, either way, on what basis exactly?

    Any societal problem you want to solve begins with your educational institutions, so ask yourself, the leaders you are calling and the policymakers, where did they have their graduate education? We don’t seem to have an idea of what foreign education does to a people, especially when you consume it without restraint. So we are suffering from the hangover of relying on people who were educated outside Africa to advance Africa, that’s a mismatch.

    We came with original ideas, with practical reason on how to solve problems, but the moment you acquire education that was never geared towards solving your unique problems, your original thinking gets diluted and corrupted, and you start parroting the talking points of other people. The people who don’t live in Africa have become ‘experts’ in African affairs, and that should tell every discerning mind something.

    We will be fine the moment Africa’s finest are trained in African educational institutions, with contents rich in African peculiarities and exceptionalism, that is when we can assemble citizens who truly know what it means to be AFRICAN.

    Stay tuned…

    Reply
    1.   Good day, we write from Rentolog Technology Ltd concerning the high price of fuel and   air pollution in our environment. We appreciate your effort and contributions toward sustainable energy in the world.
      We have a proposal that will  reduce the amount of fossil fuel consumption and also generate more income in the economy and propose for a contract in the steel and plant manufacturing industry. Currently the market is dominated by electric vehicles, so my major concern is how to improve its efficiency and save cost as a result of debts of purchasing electricity and also electricity stations are limited to some geographical area and areas like the deserts if  intended to journey.
      We came up with an idea that will benefit you and me, we decided that for a more sustainable energy, let the electric vehicles produce their own electricity. imagine you journeyed to a desert location and your battery ran out of power, you cannot find any power stations but the only material you can source with you is the bottle of water you came with . We believe that during the evolution of cars, water(steam) was used but due to lack of modification, it was abandoned.
      1.The RT model 1 car has the answer to that problem, the car works like the electric vehicles but with a difference. The car uses a device called RET (Rentolog electric water technology) to generate its electricity. Ret work like the mechanism of our conventional hydropower dams, but with some calculations and precision  we are arrived with the idea. Also ancient scientists left a track from nature for which a car can produce its own electricity.
      2. In a bid of reducing fossil fuel from the earth, Rentolog Technology Ltd made a substitution for an Agric base battery . Its research work was accepted by IJSER  ( international journal scientific and engineering research) and IEEE SEM (International European Extended Enablement in Science, Engineering & Management) journal. Agric base battery was an inspiration from God and it works in the same way plants trap sunlight, but in this case, the battery will trap electric charges.
      3. For more efficiency and customer taste , we applied the use of five(5) phase induction motors .
      4. For the case of insecurity in the country, the company has found a solution to help boost the economy and also reduce the surge of crimes in the country.
      For further information about the company and what we do, is sited in the company [email protected] rentologtechnologyltd.simdif.com
      Thanks for your cooperation. RSVP
      Lastly, I want to use this opportunity to thank God for privileges to tell you that Jesus loves you.
      onyeka———————————–
      Onyeka Ojugbani
       C.E.O
      RENTOLOG TECHNOLOGY LTD  

      Reply
  2. Thanks a great deal. It is further saddening to note that apart from climate, the other “compelling” reason advanced to wean us off coal was mercury pollution. Yet Africa remained the dumpyard for thimerosal-containing vaccines. Which products are proscribed in the developed countries for their 50%- by-weight methyl mercury content. Hopefully, we can now begin to do our own thinking! God bless Africa.

    Reply
  3. It is further saddening to note that apart from climate, the other “compelling” reason advanced to wean us off coal was mercury pollution. Yet Africa remained the dumpyard for thimerosal-containing vaccines. Which products are proscribed in the developed countries for their 50%- by-weight methyl mercury content. Hopefully, we can now begin to do our own thinking! God bless Africa.

    Reply
  4. Goodway Enock Mokoena · Edit

    Do your own Africa don’t be a sleeping giant .Even now we are still begging others. To try to teach us how to live in our own Africa. Viva Africa viva

    Reply
  5. RE: Europe Returns to Coal and Lessons for Africa
    Ndubuisi, in your write-up of June 28, titled: Europe Returns to Coal and Lessons for Africa, you said: “I have written here that Africa must not allow Europe to write our energy policy. When Europe says that you should discard coal, watch very carefully, it is very convenient for Europe to do away with coal. Simply, its policy framework which it exports to the whole world is based on the thesis of its comparative advantages.”
    This is a good one. It tells us in the Third World, especially, the African countries that the so-called Energy Transition is an imperialism designed to keep Africa and the rest of the poor countries in perpetual economic slavery. Your write-up points out the duplicity of the so-called Advanced World. But it contrasts with your year analyses of Dangote Refinary. Perhaps, because of your unflinching belief on Energy Transition , you did not believe that the first private refinery in Nigeria has a future.
    Below are some of the points you made about Dangote Refinery in one of your analyses:
    “Dangote Group is building a refinery. But I do think it is off by at least ten years to extract the maximum value on that investment. Though Nigeria continues to import petroleum products, distorting our balance of payments, and crushing the Naira, my model is that the refinery business will do well, marginally. Yes, the refinery will fix market friction but it would be distorted in years. As I drive across America, a popular scene now is closed gas stations, picking up where malls stopped…”
    “Looking at all trajectories Aliko Dangote is getting poorer despite doing more! It is a paradox because technically Dangote has improved his asset quality over the last seven years, as Dangote Group evolves to become an industrialized conglomerate.”
    ‘Simply, once Ford, GM, Toyota etc stop making fossil-powered cars, Nigerians cannot get special treatments. Because we do not make cars, we have to adjust! The refineries of the future are charging stations and not crude oil refining. In the U.S., most refineries are going bankrupt because in the next few years, the cost of buying an electric car would be at parity with fossil-fueled cars.”
    “Do not put so much power in refinery business as a business for decades. The useful life of that sector is in years, not decades. We expect Tesla to produce EV cars that would be as affordable as Toyota, Honda, etc in the coming years. But Ford, GM and Toyota may get there before it.”
    In conclusion , you wrote : “So, my thesis is this: the best refinery business of the future in Nigeria, starting 2030 is charging stations because the world will not walk back on the march to EV because Nigeria likes their hydrocarbonated cars.”
    This write-up is outright de-marketing of Dangote Refinery. Whether you know it or not , Dangote Refinery is the best thing that has happened in Nigeria and Africa in general.
    Dangote Oil Refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (BPD) integrated refinery project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. It is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility.
    The Pipeline Infrastructure at the Dangote Petroleum Refinery is the largest anywhere in the world, with 1,100 kilometers to handle 3 Billion Standard Cubic Foot of gas per day. The Refinery alone has a 435MW Power Plant that is able to meet the total power requirement of Ibadan DisCo.
    The Refinery will meet 100% of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products and also have a surplus of each of these products for export. Dangote Petroleum Refinery is a multi-billion dollar project that will create a market for $21 Billion per annum of Nigerian Crude. It is designed to process Nigerian crude with the ability to also process other crudes.
    This is what the advanced countries want to scuttle with their so-called Energy transition, which can be seen as imperialism. As Hamza Hamouchene points out “Any talk about green transition and sustainability must not become a façade for neocolonial schemes of plunder and domination.”
    Read this : https://africasacountry.com/2020/11/energy-transitions-and-colonialism
    Energy transitions are never just about economics, engineering, or science. Rather, the question is why the use of specific scientific or engineering techniques makes sense at a particular time and leads to specific energy outcomes. The transitions could be related to imperialist projects such as the partition of Africa or the Nazi expansion into Eastern Europe; to a specific political party coming to power riding on a popular wave of megadevelopmentalism; or the belief that certain energy forms have detrimental effects on the environment and should not be pursued.
    Please read : NOVEMBER 3, 2021, 5:56 PM FP : oreignpolicy.com/2021/11/03/cop26-climate-colonialism-africa-norway-world-bank-oil-gas/
    With natural gas prices at record highs in Europe, Norway is raking it in. The country is Europe’s second-largest gas supplier after Russia—and has just agreed to increase natural gas exports by 2 billion cubic meters to alleviate the continent’s acute energy shortage. Its neighbors, such as Britain, are grateful for every dollop of gas as winter approaches.
    Yet even as wealthy Norwegians count their kroners thanks to rising prices and booming exports, their government is working hard to stop some of the world’s poorest countries from producing their own natural gas. Along with seven other Nordic and Baltic countries, Norway has been lobbying the World Bank to stop all financing of natural gas projects in Africa and elsewhere as soon as 2025—and until then only in “exceptional circumstances,” as an unpublished statement by the group, seen by Foreign Policy, details. At COP26, 20 countries went even further, pledging to stop all funding for overseas fossil fuel projects beginning next year. Instead, the Nordic and Baltic countries suggest, the World Bank should finance clean energy solutions in the developing world “such as green hydrogen and smart micro-grid networks.”
    The idea that some of the poorest people on Earth will be using green hydrogen—possibly the most complex and expensive energy technology that exists—and building out “smart micro-grid networks” in just a few years at anywhere near the scale required is absurd. Not even solar energy or wind power—if it could be built out quickly enough—could fuel development in the global south without backup power using fossil fuels, of which gas is the cleanest by far. In sub-Saharan Africa, which has large gas fields offshore and includes many of the world’s poorest countries, a ban on financing gas projects would practically end support for the critical energy infrastructure necessary to support economic development and raise living standards—including electricity for homes, schools, and factories; industrial heat for producing cement and steel; the carbon dioxide that is an essential component of synthetic fertilizer; and liquefied gas for transportation and cooking fuel.
    That last example makes perfectly clear what Norway’s fight against natural gas means for the world’s poor. About 3.8 million people die prematurely each year from the effects of indoor air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. The vast majority of these deaths occur among the 2.6 billion people in poor countries who still burn wood, coal, charcoal, or animal dung indoors for cooking. Women and children doing household chores are particularly exposed to this toxic smoke, which penetrates deep into the lungs. The switch to bottled cooking gas—promoted on a large scale by India, China, and the United Nations—is saving countless lives in the developing world. That’s one reason why the U.N.—where developing countries have a stronger voice than in Oslo, Washington, or Berlin—lists natural gas among clean energy sources and is promoting the switch to cooking gas in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for global access to affordable clean energy.
    In the conclusion of your analysis on coal you stated:” This is the deal: Africa must define its future based on its positioning and improve itself so that these countries and regions do not toss it around. Across Africa, many factories which were powered by coals were encouraged to shut down to save the world from burning. But here instead of Europe following through, they ignored their books and are making coals friends again.”
    This is exactly what African countries are doing. The climatic problems witnessed by the world today is not from Africa, hence the continent should not be made bear the brunt. A recent declaration by EU-AU Summit calls for an energy transition that is “fair, just and equitable”, taking into account “specific and diverse orientations of the African countries with regards to access to electricity”.

    Reply
    1. Nice perspective Chris. Thanks for this piece. Sure, I still believe in energy transition and also believe that the energy investment into the deep future will not be carbon-based but electron-based. Nonetheless, that transition has to be pragmatic and nuanced. On Dangote Refinery de-marketing, you make me feel like people read me here. I am just a village guy from Abia and have no capacity to shape any opinion on the largest private investment in modern Nigeria. That said, I hope Dangote Refinery pays attention to those postulations: Nigeria will not decide when they [Ford, Toyota, Honda, etc] will stop producing petrol-powered cars. If those makers decide to fade petrol-cars, Nigeria, being a non-maker of cars, cannot change the outcome since we are not a big market for new cars. Every refinery investment must work out those numbers.

      Reply
    2.      Evolution has not yet unveiled the future of car industries. Our vision is to create jobs for all graduating students in the steel industry and to stop the demanding consumption of fossil fuels by advancing our products like electric vehicles, household generators with more sustainable hydro energy. And also involved  in bringing the consumer service to their doorstep  by rebranding our locally made manufactured products like rice, beans etc. and also provision of solution to reduce insecurity.  

      Reply
  6. Rentolog electric water had been analyzed and found worthy for consumer taste. We give thanks to God who made this innovation possible.
    HOW DO IT WORK?
       When water is supplied to the tank, the water flows into a region, the region is blocked by an arc as in your conventional dam, the pressure of the water will increase, the arc opens and the pressure reduces. According to Bernoulli principle, the lower the pressure increases the speed of the fluid(water) and higher the pressure, the speed (velocity) reduces. The  water speed is maintained by Pascal principle, which states the fluid at a point or region is evenly distributed . The flow to a region of empty space , gravity and magnetic field of the magnet pull it towards the turbine as in the mountain fall But for an effective precision the entrance to the turbine region will be small just like in the spark plug in Internal combustion engine. The reason is for the water to concentrate in the blade of the turbine for turning purposes  . As the water turns the turbine  , Faraday law of magnetic field will occur, the turning of the turbine blade will convert the circular motion to reciprocating motion. A small electric current will be supplied to the coil and the rotor which strengthens the electricity and supplies it to the battery, and your home. The water  will flow back to the tank passing through the non return valve to continue the thermodynamic flow equation. This process conserves energy and requires minimum electricity to operate and also it is efficient. The body of the RET system is made of an insulator to prevent escape of electricity .

    Reply

Post Comment