A Power Grid Collapse Is Spreading
The power grid problems that are now plaguing Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and South Africa have been largely underreported this winter, yet the consequences are dire. People who still have jobs are having to work at night because that’s the only time there is stable electricity. Scheduled blackouts frequently last up to ten or even twelve hours per day, and all three nations’ economies are tanking as a result. This is a serious drain on the continent’s economic growth, energy experts warn.
The root cause of this crisis can be traced back to a few years ago when Zimbabwe and Nigeria agreed to a UN plan to mandate more renewable energy and move away from coal and natural gas, while South Africa started its “transition” to renewable energy and dumped $8.5 billion into the plan. While these moves were celebrated by the international community, they have done little to address the underlying problem.
Meanwhile, the Chinese continue to laugh at us. While the United States has been slashing emissions for years, China has been issuing construction permits for an average of two new coal plants per week. Despite the fact that their carbon output is more than double that of the United States, the climate hecklers have remained totally silent.
The reality is that renewable energy is not yet a viable solution to Africa’s power grid problems. Not only is it unreliable, but it is also extremely expensive. Until renewable energy becomes more cost–effective and reliable, the countries of Africa will continue to suffer from rolling blackouts and economic hardships.
This exemplifies the dangers of government overreach and the lack of foresight in implementing policies without properly weighing all of the potential consequences. It is important that we take a step back and learn from this experience and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes in the future.
From South Africa, Zimbabwe, to Nigeria, the African power grid collapse is spreadinghttps://t.co/mMuSibFhgj
— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) March 26, 2023