G20 Energy Infrastructure Africa_ Final

Pubblicato il documento finale della Presidenza messicana del prossimo Summit G20 sull’infrastrutturazione in campo energetico per l’Africa.



At their Seoul, South Korea Summit in November 2010, the G20 adopted a Multi-Year Action Plan on Development which aims to promote economic growth, particularly in about 80 low-income countries (LICs). Infrastructure development is at the top of the nine-point agenda. A G20-mandated High Level Panel (HLP) on Infrastructure, working in close cooperation with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), submitted its report and final recommendations to the French G20 Summit in November 2011. In order to close Africa’s energy infrastructure gap, the panel emphasises large-scale public-private partnership (PPP) projects in order to promote economic growth and regional integration. The panel asserts that new investments into the continent’s energy sector are long overdue. This is true. However, this article takes issue with the HLP’s call for delivering solutions with an entire focus on large-scale, centralised energy infrastructure projects. The recommendations don’t sufficiently interrogate the feasibility and potential impacts; more attention should be given to modular and more flexibly deployable renewable energy technologies that can reduce poverty and minimise financial risk while maintaining a small carbon footprint.

The HLP’s commitment to conventional solutions obscures the possibility of other alternatives. Even though the alternatives present challenges in terms of replication, cost, and scale, the G20 summit in Mexico in June 2012 should re-cast the criteria for selecting and financing energy projects to highlight modular, renewable energy solutions.