world\'s poor need grid power, not just solar panels
The Inga 3 dam is part of a large project of the Congo (King) River (DRC).
With construction starting next year, the project could one day generate twice as much power as China\'s Three Gorges Dam, the world\'s largest power station.
World Bank views on the dollar
37 million of the grants and funding for a landmark plan that will help provide grid power to Congolese who lack the grid.
Most environmental activists and many in the aid community disagree.
The dam is a white elephant, they say, and its power will mainly benefit urban elites, mining companies and export markets.
They say what the poor in Congo need is scattered, low
Carbon energy such as solar panels.
The disagreement about the Inga 3 is a microcosm of the broader debate on how best to bring power to those who lack it.
The debate is not just about getting people like the World Bank to oppose environmental activists.
The California environmental think tank Breakthrough Institute, known for breaking the traditional position, recently published a report entitled \"Our highEnergy Planet. In it, co-
Alex tembas, author, believes that the promotion of solar panels and other low
Carbon energy technology is new
Colonialism, which is morally unacceptable, is becoming more and more irrelevant \".
The charge is that solar enthusiasts sacrifice economic development for the poor at their altar of environmental concern.
The same debate in a recent one about low
Carbon Energy was organized by the Sussex University Sussex Energy Group at the Royal Society of London, where researchers analyzed the spread of solar energy in Kenya.
More than 300,000 homes now have panels installed, and this achievement was hailed as \"pro\" by David Oakwell of the Universitypoor, low-
Carbon development \". Or is it?
As Ockwell himself said in a later conversation, several panels on the roof can charge the phone, run some lights and a radio, but for anything more demanding, nothing is like a kettle.
Most Kenyans may prefer to link to central power, but there is only one grid --
Fifth in the country.
In other words, it is not obvious that low
Carbon must be beneficial. poor.
Its widespread adoption may lock poor communities at a low level.
The future of low carbonenergy and low-income. x93Low-
Carbon Technology could lock poor communities into a future that is as low --energy and low-
This is particularly disturbing if the main argument for solar power generation is to deal with climate change.
The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change believes that poverty reduction is critical in helping poor communities to build resilience.
So it would be a crime to impose green technology on the poor to help stop carbon emissions and only make them more vulnerable.
All of this coincides with the argument of calestus Juma, an international development expert at Harvard University.
Technology solutions to energy problems in Africa are the continuation of the disastrous 20 th century.
Century policy leading the developing countries out of the trough
Continue the innovation of poverty.
Africa needs the latest technology, not the \"right\" technology, says Juma.
This brings us back to the Breakthrough Institute report.
It lashed out at environmental organizations and aid agencies that saw themselves as \"leaving Europe. grid, low-
Provide energy while giving \"big\" low
Carbon energy sources like nuclear power and hydropower.
The institute said it was immoral and counter-productive.
It argues that the world\'s poor need to \"expand their energy systems on a large scale\" or else they will be condemned as the future of continued poverty.
The author is not climate-change deniers;
They agreed low.
Carbon Energy is essential.
They\'re not free either.
Cologne, a market enthusiast;
Only public investment can bring power to the poor, they say.
But they insist that industrialisation, urbanization and social networking are the only way to achieve prosperity and low income. carbon future.
\"Move to a high
The energy planet is morally necessary.
\"Or, in other words, ditch the Inga dam and solar panels.
This is a key debate at the moment, and the United Nations is pushing globally to provide electricity to the billion people who still lack it.
Governments in many poor countries are distributing cheap
Solar panels are made for millions of families.
For example, I have seen them in Mali and Guyana in recent months.
The problem is that neither side is completely convincing.
The breakthrough report has little to say about the impact of its climate strategy. The small-is-
Meanwhile, the beautiful crowd has yet to explain where their endless solar panels will take the poor.
Large hydropower projects are not the answer either.
Earlier this year, flyflyvbjerg of Said Business School of Oxford University published an analysis of 245 such plans built between 1934 and 2007.
It concluded that the dam was mainly a financial stone and colon;
Completed a few years later, nearly 100 higher than the budget, and the economic return is lower than the cost of construction.
The nearest dam is no better than the old one, and the bigger it is, the worse it performs (
Energy Policy, Volume 69, page 43).
This does not bode well for Inga.
There is no simple answer.
What we need is more than just rhetoric to make sure it\'s low
Carbon technology is not developed at the expense of the poor.
We need more voices from the African people about what they want.
What must be avoided at all costs is that Africa is stumbling towards the future of cheap coal to power cities and cheap solar panels that power rural areas.
It doesn\'t sound like a good solution as more and more people leave the countryside to go to the city.