Obama's Power Africa Plan Selects U.S. Firms to Build 3 Solar Farms in Ethiopia
Two U.S. companies have received contracts to join President Obama's plan to double power access in Africa by 2030.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy and directors at the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation awarded contracts to Global Trade and Development Consulting (GTDC) and Energy Ventures to construct and operate three solar farms in Ethiopia, according to PV Tech. The Maryland companies will work on three 100 megawatt (MW) solar farms that are already collectively known as the 300MW Solar Project.
Obama's plan, Power Africa, was announced in June. The president wants to add 10,000 MW of clean energy to Africa in the next 17 years. More than two-thirds of the sub-Saharan African population is without electricity.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
"This project represents a significant advance in our Ethiopian energy initiative and is now part of our comprehensive energy plan," Ethiopian water and energy minister Alemayehu Tegenu said. "Given Ethiopia’s large hydro-electric generation capacity and now wind and geothermal power generation coming on-line, large-scale solar fits nicely into our energy portfolio and will provide significant power generation capacity much faster than the other renewable technologies. We welcome this project with open arms.”
The construction of the three solar farms are expected to generate about 2,000 jobs, some of which could be permanent. The partners of Power Africa will initially focus on Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The U.S. committed $7 billion to Power Africa, though Obama estimated that it would take $300 billion for the continent to reach its energy goal. The U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) promised up to $5 billion in support of U.S. exports for the development of power projects across sub-Saharan Africa. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will invest up to $1 billion in African power systems "to increase access and the reliability and sustainability of electricity supply through investments in energy infrastructure, policy and regulatory reforms and institutional capacity building," according to the White House.
"[Electricity is] the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs and it’s the connection needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy," Obama told Forbes earlier this year. "You’ve got to have power.
“My own nation will benefit enormously if [Africa can] reach full potential.”
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, announced Tuesday it has opened an in-depth investigation into Bayer's proposed $66 billion takeover of Monsanto over "concerns that the merger may reduce competition in areas such as pesticides, seeds and traits."
The controversial merger, if successful, will form the world's largest integrated seed and pesticide company.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt appears in a video sponsored by the beef industry calling on farmers and ranchers to file official comments on a proposal to withdraw and rewrite the Obama-era "Waters of the United States" rule (or WOTUS) before the Aug. 28 deadline.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) video was produced by the beef lobbying organization's policy division, Beltway Beef and was released last week. Notably, NCBA spent $117,375 in lobbying last year.
Two years ago, Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and his collaborators published a widely circulated study that detailed how the U.S. can eliminate nuclear, biofuels and fossil fuels and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
Now, in a paper published Wednesday in the new scientific journal Joule, Jacobson and 26 co-authors created clean energy roadmaps not just for the 50 United States, but for 139 individual countries.
The effects of climate change is inextricably linked to human health. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that traps heat in the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to spike, air quality to worsen, all while fueling droughts, floods and storms that impact food and water security.
By Steve Horn
Energy Transfer Partners, owner of the Dakota Access pipeline, has filed a $300 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups for their activism against the long-contested North Dakota-to-Illinois project.
In its 187-page complaint, Energy Transfer alleges that "putative not-for-profits and rogue eco-terrorist groups who employ patterns of criminal activity and campaigns of misinformation to target legitimate companies and industries with fabricated environmental claims and other purported misconduct" caused the company to lose "billions of dollars."
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, Harvard postdoctoral fellow Geoffrey Supran and professor Naomi Oreskes reviewed nearly 200 communications on climate change from the oil giant, including scientific research, internal company memos and paid editorial features in the New York Times.
The U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Tuesday saying that the Federal Environmental Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) failed to adequately review the environmental impacts of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the fracked gas Sabal Trail pipeline, which runs more than 500 miles through Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
As ocean waters warm and acidify, corals across the globe are disappearing. Desperate to prevent the demise of these vital ecosystems, researchers have developed ways to "garden" corals, buying the oceans some much-needed time. University of Miami Rosenstiel School marine biologist Diego Lirman sat down with Josh Chamot of Nexus Media to describe the process and explain what's at stake. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.