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(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. government is spending $20 million to “help clean energy projects in Africa get started.” Those projects include wind farms and solar panels, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the recent Rio +20 Conference in Brazil.
But the government watchdog Judicial Watch criticized the spending as wasteful, given the administration’s track record in trying to pick green energy winners.
“The U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative will help clean energy projects in Africa get started,” said Clinton in her June 22 speech. “This is an innovative partnership between three United States government entities – the State Department, OPIC (the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. We want to drive private sector investment into the energy sector.”
China plans to build solar power projects in 40 African nations, aiming at cutting the continent’s reliance on fossil fuels and open a new market for Chinese manufacturers, the biggest producers of solar panels.
The programme would require $100 million (R672m) in investment, Sun Guangbin, the secretary-general of photovoltaic products at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said in a recent interview
The projects would use competitive bidding and Chinese-made panels, Sun added.
China is branching into clean energy after investing $10 billion last year in Africa, where its traditional targets have been oil, minerals and construction. That will help feed its burgeoning solar industry led by JA Solar Holdings and Suntech Power Holdings, the largest makers of cells used in photovoltaic panels that turn sunlight into power.
China plans to light up Africa with solar
When completed in 2013, Gibe III on Ethiopia’s Omo River will be Africa’s tallest dam, a $2.2 billion project that conservationists say will deprive birds and hippos of vital habitat.
Some 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the north, Sudan is preparing to build the $705 million Kajbar dam on the Nile, which would inundate historic towns and tombs of the Nubian people, descendants of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The $729 million Bui project on the Black Volta River, to be finished in 2013, will boost Ghana’s hydropower capacity by a third -- and flood a quarter of Bui National Park while displacing 2,600 people.
What these megaprojects have in common is Chinese money and know-how. Companies such as Sinohydro Corp. and Dongfang Electric Corp. are key players in their construction, and they’re financed by Chinese banks with support from the government in Beijing, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Sept. 12 issue.
Africa’s Friend China Finances $9.3 Billion of Hydropower
Originally posted by theMediator
20 millions is pocket change.