The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Ana Santos Rutschman
The world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug Administration. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned and will step down in early April. His temporary replacement is Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute.
On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as "high priority" for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA's record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated.
Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.
Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Drilling on 300,000 Acres in Wyoming Until Government Considers Climate Impacts
Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."