ON African Green Policy

Algeria will invest 20b US$ in green energy production. According to the oil state’s very ambitious plans, renewable energy will satisfy 40% of rapidly raising energy demand in 2030.

ON green policy: Considering Algeria’s plentiful oil reserves, that move seems rather surprising. After all, domestic oil production could guarantee decades of cheap fuel and electricity. However, this perspective corresponds to rather shortsighted fossil energy security thinking and prevents more innovative strategies. Algerians simply did the maths and figured that they could sell domestic oil for more money than replacing it with green energy would cost them. In other words, electricity from massive solar arrays in “dirt”-cheap desert areas is cheaper than burning domestic oil if you account for the export revenues. As a nice side benefits, Algeria attracts massive foreign investments in green energy, gets ready for the post-fossil age and significantly reduces oil related health problems. As much as Algeria’s government fails to deliver on solving social problems, employment or civil liberties, this policy decision is actually much brighter than European and particularly US energy policies. It seems as Algeria in absence of powerful oil lobbies has a clearer view on the long-term opportunities of renewable energy. Therefore, we can only be hope that first, Algerian authorities will show such good judgement in other policy areas as well and that second European and US policy makers will finally manage to break free from the oil lobby and start thinking of the long term benefits of their voters and their countries instead of the benefits of their funders.

Source: Treehugger


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