The African Development Bank (AfDB) will continue to fund natural gas projects despite environmental lobbyists claiming downgrades, its chairman Akinwumi Adesina has said.
Although natural gas produces about half as much carbon dioxide (C02) when burned as coal, some critics say that increasing production of this commodity is becoming one of the major drivers of climate change and that industry expansion plans could stifle efforts to stabilize the climate. .
Dr. Adesina, however, played down concerns about the impact of natural gas on the environment and argued that the AfDB would continue to fund such projects.
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“Renewables alone cannot power Africa…natural gas must continue to be part of Africa’s stable energy system,” Dr Adesina said last week at the bank’s annual general meeting. in Accra.
The bank finances various renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and geothermal.
“Even if you triple the current amount of gas, it will still represent less than 0.3% of global emissions,” added the AfBD boss. Kenya is among the countries seeking to harness the potential of natural gas to boost and stabilize its energy system.
The country plans to retire or convert heavy fuel oil power plants to use liquefied natural gas by 2030 as it pursues a cleaner energy path to a fully climate-friendly grid.
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) is carrying out a study on the reconfiguration of thermal power stations which account for around 7% of the grid load.
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KenGen, which relies on hydroelectricity and geothermal energy, said the conversion will help reduce the cost of electricity in the country.