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25.01.2009 Africa

Africa has potential as new “Clean Energy Frontier”

By GBN
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Hopes are alight for Africa's potential for the development of renewable energy.

The belief in the continents renewable energy development potential is spearheaded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as investors and regional leaders search for a new clean energy platform, ghanabusinessnews has learnt.

Information available cites the Afdb as saying that Africa could become a “gold mine” with its abundant resources in hydro, solar, and wind.

The AfDB believes that the continent's renewable energy is basically untapped, pointing out the fact that only 7% of Africa's hydro potential has been harnessed.

For instance, the continent's geothermal energy potential stands at 9,000 MW, but only about 60 MW has been exploited in Kenya and Tanzania. Estimates further indicate that a significant proportion of current electricity generation in 16 eastern and southern African countries could be met by bagasse-based cogeneration in the sugar industry.

However, (Clean Development Mechanism) CDMs come with its own problems. The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol excluded forest conservation although carbon emissions from deforestation represent 18% to 25% of all emissions. Also some wonder if CDMs actually provide a sense of false credits.

The mechanism has, despite conflicting opinions on its ability, emerged as the most concrete way in which countries in the region can currently access the growing carbon market, with South Africa leading the race to participate in carbon emissions trading as other countries continue to assess the market.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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