經濟學人選讀|非洲將持續貧困,除非使用更多能源

2022/11/11閱讀時間約 45 分鐘
一個美國的電冰箱,比一個普通的非洲人用更多電,所以已開發國家的挑戰是如何產生「更乾淨」的能源,但非洲的目標,是如何產生更多能源,並變得更富裕到足以因應氣候變遷所造成的種種後果。
再生能源是非洲各國政府、西方大型能源企業積極插旗的產業,11/5這期的經濟學人「Africa will remain poor unless it uses more energy」,談到非洲的再生能源與現有能源使用狀況,及錯綜複雜的背景,還有富裕國家虛偽的真相。
西方國家都期待非洲能跳過造成環境汙染、地球暖化的煤、火力發電,直接跳到乾淨又衛生的再生能源(太陽能、風力等),就如同希望晚開發國家跳過市話、直接使用手機上網;
但實際上,一個美國的冰箱,比一個普通的非洲人用更多電,所以,發達國家的挑戰是如何能產生「更乾淨」的能源,但在連供電都不穩的非洲,它們的目標是如何能產生更多能源。期望非洲只依靠可再生能源是非常天真的想法,因為約有一半薩哈拉沙漠以南的非洲人,根本無法使用電力!
再生能源不僅需要有效的政府所建造的可靠基礎建設(如穩定供電,減少跳電),國家穩定財務背景、有效率的不腐敗的官僚體系、各區域(國家)之間穩定的電網連結等等。
文章最後一段提了一個假設,就算撒哈拉以南非洲(不含南非)的所有人均用電增加五倍(印度花快3年才做到),而且完全靠燃氣發電站,也只會增加全球排放量的 1%。
以上的假設,暗示了一個明顯的事實:因為許多非洲人是窮人,他們比富國人民更易受到全球變暖的危害如乾旱、疾病和高漲的食品價格。
對於非洲大部分地區來說,適應地球變暖的最佳方式,是讓他們變得足夠富有來應對這些不好的後果,不讓非洲人使用廉價而可靠的電力,且不採取任何措施抑制全球暖化,只會讓這任務變得更加困難(指的是讓非洲人民無法因應這些不好後果)。
*文章相當的長,方格子表示閱讀時間是46分鐘,但值得慢慢閱讀。以下英文是全文,中文是編譯。
*文章中提到的非洲,大部分指的是沙哈拉沙漠以南的非洲地區,不包含北非地區埃及、摩洛哥、阿爾及利亞等地。

the economist

Africa will remain poor unless it uses more energy

撒哈拉以南的溫室氣體排放量相當稀少 Greenhouse-gas emissions south of the Sahara are tiny
納米比亞的綠色氫氣(green-hydrogen)項目,代表非洲對可再生能源的樂觀態度,許多人希望非洲大陸能夠“跨越”化石燃料。
綠色氫氣計畫,是由太陽能發電和風力供電,將水分解成氧氣和綠色氫氣,以製造重要的工業化學品「氨」。納米比亞總統的顧問詹姆斯·姆紐佩(James Mnyupe)去年與開發商Hyphen,一個德國領導財團達成協議,預計帶來 94 億美元投資,對於一個GDP約120億美元的國家(納米比亞)來說,這是一個巨大的數字。
Namibia’s green-hydrogen project is symbolic of the optimism about renewable energy in Africa. Many hope that the continent will “leapfrog” past fossil fuels.
The plan is that solar plants and wind turbines will provide power to split water into oxygen and “green” hydrogen to make ammonia, an important industrial chemical. James Mnyupe, an adviser to Namibia’s president, struck a deal last year with Namibia’s preferred developer, Hyphen, a German-led consortium. It could lead to an investment of $9.4bn—a huge boost for a country with a gdp of about $12bn.

低度能源使用,是貧窮的結果 Low energy use is a consequence of poverty

哎呀,事情沒那麼簡單!
在發達國家,最大的能源挑戰是如何能「更乾淨」,但在非洲,問題是在如何產生更多能源!
撒哈拉以南非洲(不含南非)的人均年消費量僅 185千瓦/時 (kWh),歐洲約 6,500 千瓦/時,美國約 12,700 千瓦/時。一個美國冰箱比一個一般的非洲人用更多電(如下圖),低度能源使用是貧窮的結果,也是原因。如果非洲要變得更加富裕,就需要使用更多的能源,包括化石燃料。
Alas, things are not so simple. In the rich world the big energy challenge is how to make the supply cleaner. In Africa the problem is how to generate more energy. Average consumption per person in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, is a mere 185 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year, compared with about 6,500kWh in Europe and 12,700kWh in America. An American fridge uses more electricity than a typical African person. Low energy use is a consequence of poverty; but it is also a cause of it. If Africa is to grow richer it will need to use a lot more energy, including fossil fuels.
一個美國冰箱比一個一般的非洲人用更多電/The Economist

期望非洲僅依靠可再生能源是天真的想法,約有一半沙哈啦以南的非洲人,無法使用電力!

然而,這樣做的努力,讓它們與虛偽的富裕國家發生衝突。富裕世界樂於進口化石燃料來自己使用,卻同時限制非洲國內天然氣的公共融資專案,“西方國家是在說,非洲應該保持不開發嗎?”加納能源部長馬修生氣的說。
可以肯定的是,乾淨能源技術對非洲來說是一個很大機會,也已是非洲 54之22 個國家主要電力來源,但期望非洲僅依靠可再生能源來促進消費是天真的,以電力為例,大約 5.9 億人或大約一半的撒哈拉以南非洲人,仍然無法使用電力。
Yet its efforts to do so put it on a collision course with hypocritical rich countries. The rich world is happy to import fossil fuels for its own use, while at the same time restricting public financing for African gas projects intended for domestic use. “Is the West saying Africa should remain undeveloped?” fumes Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana’s energy minister.
To be sure, clean-energy technologies are a huge opportunity for the continent. They are already the main sources of power for 22 of Africa’s 54 countries. But to hope that Africa can rely on renewables alone to boost consumption is naive. Take electricity, a source of power that is still not available to some 590m people, or about half of sub-Saharan Africans.

非洲電力是不可靠且所費不貲,光2019年就有78%非洲公司經歷過停電。
根據購買力調整後,許多非洲國家的家庭支付的費率,高於OECD國家。且在 2019年研究中,智庫Energy for Growth指出,78% 非洲公司在過去一年中經歷了停電,而 41%表示電力是公司最大的束縛,許多企業和有錢人家是依賴發電機,而這些總量超過撒哈拉以南非洲所安裝的可再生能源。
國際能源署 ( iea ) 6 月的報告指出,如果非洲要在 2030 年前供應普遍的電力,總發電量必須翻一倍,從260吉瓦(目前佔全球總量的 3%)增加到 510吉瓦。 ,iea估計可再生能源能提供 80%的成長,但要落實是一項艱鉅任務。
非洲擁有全球 18% 的人口,但是能源投資卻不到全球5%,且其中大部分生產出口用的石油和天然氣。iea認為,2026 年至 2030 年期間非洲能源資本支出總額必須是 2016 年至2020 年期間的近兩倍,再生能源投資需要增加六倍。
What electricity there is, is unreliable and costly. Adjusted for purchasing power, households in many African countries pay higher rates than those in the oecd, a club of mostly rich countries. In research published in 2019, Energy for Growth, a think-tank, noted that 78% of African firms experienced power cuts in the past year, while 41% said that electricity was a major constraint. Many businesses and well-off households rely on generators. These have more total capacity than there is in sub-Saharan Africa’s installed renewables.
In a report published in June the International Energy Agency (iea) pointed out that if Africa is to provide universal electricity access by 2030 it would have to almost double its total generation capacity from 260gw (currently 3% of the global total) to 510gw. Renewables could provide 80% of the increase, it reckons. Achieving that would be a mammoth task.
Africa is home to 18% of humanity, yet receives less than 5% of global energy investment. Much of this tends to go on producing oil and gas for export. The iea thinks that total capital spending on energy between 2026 and 2030 in Africa would have to be nearly twice what it was between 2016 and 2020. Investment in clean energy would need to rise six-fold.

雄心壯志的非洲再生能源計畫,令人堪憂的國內財政

所有再生能源計畫聽起來都非常有野心,但非洲公共財政狀況堪憂。據國際貨幣基金組織IMF稱,非洲有22 個國家處於債務困境或高風險中,那些考慮轉向國際資本市場的人,正面臨驚人的借貸成本,在過去二十年,中國是能源計劃貸款來源國,現在已變得越來越吝嗇,中國對非洲國內電力計劃的貸款,從 2016 年近 80 億美元的高峰,降至 2019 年 15 億美元。
All of which sounds highly ambitious. African public finances are in a woeful state. Twenty-two countries are in debt distress or at high risk of it, according to the imf. Those considering turning to international capital markets are facing eye-watering borrowing costs. China, a source of loans for energy schemes over the past two decades, is becoming more parsimonious. Its lending to domestic African power schemes fell from a peak of nearly $8bn in 2016 to $1.5bn in 2019.

非洲公司應該投資更多基礎設施,富國一再失信

肯亞正在修改法規,允許養老基金這樣做。但非洲前十大發達國家養老金資產(略高於 3,000 億美元),僅略高於加州教師養老基金的資產。投資者很少為長期項目放貸:70% 的貸款期限不到五年。
國際能源署認為,這一缺口將由“前所未有的等級”的私人國外資金補足,然而,投資者抱怨缺乏可融資的非洲專案。煤或天然氣工廠建造成本較低,因為大部分成本來自購買燃料;相比之下,太陽能或風能項目運行成本低,但建造成本高,這意味著他們對資本成本非常敏感,國際能源署指出非洲成本,可能是美國和歐洲的七倍。
African firms could invest more in infrastructure. Some governments, such as Kenya’s, are changing regulations to allow pension funds to do so. But pension assets in the ten most developed African countries (a bit more than $300bn) are only slightly greater than those of the California state teachers’ pension fund. Investors rarely lend for long-term projects: 70% of loans are for less than five years.
The iea reckons the gap will be filled by “an unprecedented level” of private foreign capital. Yet investors complain of a shortage of bankable African projects. Coal or gas plants are relatively cheap to build, as most of their lifetime costs come from buying fuel. Solar- or wind-power projects, by contrast, are cheap to run but expensive to build. This means they are very sensitive to the cost of capital. And that cost can be up to seven times higher in Africa than in America and Europe, the iea notes.

Talk is cheap! 富國政府,一再承諾提供融資、鼓勵私人投資可再生能源

IEA估計到 2030年約需1.2 萬億美元,然而,之前一再失信,2009年富裕國承諾2020年前每年向貧窮國提供 1,000 億美元應對氣候變化(其中一些來自私營部門),但每年金額從未超過 850 億美元,且大部分是貸款。富裕國家現在承諾,將在今年達到 1,000 億美元目標。“Talk is cheap ”總部位於奈洛比的顧問公司 eed Advisory 的Murefu Barasa 感嘆說“甚至沒有人知道如何計算這筆錢。”
Governments in rich countries have promised climate finance that, among other things, is meant to encourage private investment in renewables. The iea calculates some $1.2trn will be needed by 2030. Yet the past is filled with broken promises. In 2009 rich countries pledged $100bn a year to poor countries by 2020 to help with climate change (some of it from the private sector). But the annual amount has never surpassed $85bn and much of it has been in the form of loans. Rich countries have now promised they will reach the $100bn target this year. “Talk is cheap,” laments Murefu Barasa of eed Advisory, a Nairobi-based consultancy. “Nobody knows even how to account for that money.”
納米比亞的計畫展現出,一個可融資的計畫可以放在一起,政府成立“綠色氫能委員會”以簡化決策、並竭盡全力降低腐敗風險,例如對承包商投標進行審查中安裝 24 小時監控攝像頭,此計畫吸引自荷蘭、德國的融資,從而降低私人投資者風險,但這只是「一個專案」。
Namibia shows that a bankable project can be put together. The government has prioritised the scheme, establishing a “green hydrogen council” to streamline decision-making. It has gone out of its way to minimise the risk of corruption, for instance by installing 24-hour surveillance cameras in the facility where contractors’ bids were scrutinised. The project is attracting concessional finance from the Netherlands and Germany, which has in turn lowered the risk for private investors. But it is just one scheme.

非洲公用事業的掙扎

沒有更多專案的原因之一,是因為非洲許多公用事業都在掙扎。
撒哈拉以南非洲超過一半的人,無法支付運營成本,更不用說提供投資資金了。"它們帶來了收入,且是電力建設的基礎,如果他們失敗了,整棟樓都會倒塌”顧問佩德羅說。
One reason there are not more is because many utilities are struggling. More than half of those in sub-Saharan Africa cannot cover their operating costs—let alone fund investments. Because they bring in revenue, they “are the foundations of the building of the power sector,” says Pedro Antmann, a consultant. If they fail, “the whole building collapses.”
the economist
公用事業大多數是國有的,效率低、受政治干預,一些公用事業公司幾乎不追蹤財務狀況。直到 2020 年,伊索比亞根本無法確定去年是否盈利。許多人不維護設備、停止非法連接或正確計費。迦納電力公司的董事總經理塞繆爾承認,迦納電力公司遭受所有問題困擾,並流失28%電力(美國公用事業的損失約5%),迦納最近進行了一次大赦,約有 12 萬有電錶沒付款的人出現,其中沒有記錄的有10萬4,000 人,"還有多少沒站出來?我想會是一個相當大的數字”他微笑著說。
Most are state-owned, inefficient and plagued by political interference. Some utilities barely track their finances. Until 2020 Ethiopia’s simply could not say with certainty if the previous year was profitable. Many do not maintain equipment, stop illegal connections or bill properly. The Electricity Company of Ghana suffers from all three problems and loses 28% of its power, admits Samuel Dubik Masubir Mahama, the managing director. (Losses in American utilities are typically about 5%.) It recently ran an amnesty in which some 120,000 people who had meters but were not paying came forward. Mr Mahama had no record of 104,000 of them. How many more might be out there? “I think it’d be quite a number,” he chuckles.
大多數非洲公用事業,不收取反映成本的關稅,從根本上說,這是一個政治問題。負責監督 2022 年創下紀錄的停電事件,南非公用事業Eskom負責人安德烈承認,監管機構保持低價是“政治上的權宜之計”。他估計,自 1994 年以來,這已造成 3,800 億蘭特(合 230 億美元)的缺口,與公司債務的數字大致相同。其他政府直接補貼電費,完全取消補貼並非容易,「你不能這麼做,這在政治上自殺的行為!」塞內加爾能源政策的總統顧問Mamadou Fall Kane 感嘆道。
Most African utilities do not charge tariffs that reflect costs. At root this is a political problem. Andre de Ruyter, the head of Eskom, the South African utility that has overseen record blackouts in 2022, admits it has been “politically expedient” for regulators to keep prices low. This has caused a shortfall of 380bn rand ($23bn) since 1994, he reckons, about the same amount as the company’s debts. Other governments directly subsidise electricity tariffs. Removing subsidies entirely is not easy. “You cannot,” laments Mamadou Fall Kane, who advises Senegal’s president on energy policy. “Politically you will kill yourself.”
如果廉價關稅只針對窮人,許多公用事業可以在沒有政府的情況下保持盈利。2018 年,尼日取消所有關稅補貼,但最貧窮的人除外,他們佔消費者的 29%,但僅使用 1.8% 的電力。
If cheap tariffs were targeted at only the poor, many utilities could stay in the black without government bungs. In 2018 Niger got rid of all subsidised tariffs except for those to the poorest, who are 29% of consumers but use just 1.8% of electricity.

插上電源 Plug it in

新技術意味著一些消費者可以繞過公用事業。在農村地區,與太陽能園區等小型發電機相連的獨立“微型電網”,是將村莊接起來最便宜的方式,太陽能家庭系統正在蓬勃發展。
New technology means that some consumers can bypass utilities. In rural areas, stand-alone “mini grids” linked to small generators such as a solar park are often the cheapest way for villages to get connected. Solar-home systems are booming.
然而,脫離電網只是部分的解決方案,根據iea的數據,將家庭連接到電網仍然是為大約 45% 未通電的非洲家庭提供照明最便宜的方式,但如果沒有任何支持,窮人根本無法承擔被連接的前期費用。
Going off-grid is only a partial solution, however. Connecting households to the grid remains the cheapest way of lighting up about 45% of unelectrified African households, according to the iea. But without support the poor often cannot afford the upfront costs of connections.
在非洲國家之間使用電網並建立聯繫,可更容易使用可再生能源,如此一來,塞內加爾太陽能園區的陰天,就可以被馬利的陰天抵消,但是,南部非洲以外的大部分地區,區域聯繫薄弱,因為你必須要相信鄰國不會在危機中停止電力出口。
Using grids and building connections between African countries would also make it easier to rely more on renewables. That way a cloudy day at a solar park in Senegal could be offset by a dazzling one in Mali. Yet in most parts other than southern Africa, regional interconnections are weak. And these regional links require trust that a neighbouring country will not halt power exports in a crisis.
在非洲國家之間使用電網並建立聯繫,可更容易使用可再生能源,如此一來,塞內加爾太陽能園區的陰天,就可以被馬利的陰天抵消,但是,南部非洲以外的大部分地區,區域聯繫薄弱 / The economist

為什麼非洲天然氣發電是主力?

非洲分散的基礎設施,是天然氣如此重要的原因之一。2021年前的十年,非洲約三分之二的新發電容量來自燃氣站,即使非洲國家在未來幾十年大力投資可再生能源,許多國家仍將需要所需資源,來應對多變天氣,水電有幫助,但僅限於有陡峭山谷和河流的地方,在重工業領域裡,天然氣仍然重要到難以擊倒。
Africa’s fragmented infrastructure is one reason why gas has played such a big role in powering the continent. In the ten years to 2021 about two-thirds of new generation capacity in Africa came from gas-fired stations. Even if African countries invest heavily in renewables over coming decades, many will still need an on-demand source of electricity to cover the vagaries of the weather. Hydropower can help, but only in places blessed with steep valleys and rivers. And gas remains hard to beat for directly powering heavy industry.
西非許多大港口的景色,為任何希望實現可再生未來一個檢視。
每個個港口隱約可見笨重的野獸,裝載閃閃發光的管道、煙囪、電力塔。近年來,甘比亞、迦納、幾內亞比索、象牙海岸、塞內加爾和獅子山等國政府,簽署了「浮動化石燃料發電廠 floating fossil-fuel power plants」合約,它們生產這些國家電力的很大一部分,有些使用重燃料油,但迦納現在使用當地天然氣,塞內加爾也正在轉換中。
The view at many of west Africa’s biggest ports provides a reality check for anyone hoping for an all-renewable future. Looming over harbour after harbour are hulking beasts, loaded with glistening pipes, rows of smoke stacks and, squeezed on the end, a power pylon. In recent years the governments of Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Sierra Leone have signed contracts for these floating fossil-fuel power plants. They produce a large share of those countries’ electricity. Some run on heavy fuel oil, but Ghana’s now runs on local gas. Senegal is converting its, too.

值得高興的是,在非洲大陸大部分地區,可再生能源已經和天然氣、煤炭具有競爭力,2030 年應該會更好,更好、更便宜的電池,可幫助可再生能源輕鬆地應付高峰需求,但目前而言,在天然氣儲量豐富、水電潛力不大或頻繁停電之處,燃氣電廠仍能提供靈活性、穩定性和價格組合—至少對於一些新一代而言。
Happily, in much of the continent renewables are already cost-competitive with gas and coal. By 2030 they should be more so. Better and cheaper batteries could eventually help renewables cope more easily with peak demand. But for now, in places with abundant gas reserves, little hydropower potential or frequent outages throughout the day, gas-fired plants may still offer the most compelling combination of flexibility, stability and price—at least for some new generation.
這就是為什麼西方不願資助天然氣項目,並與非洲使用更多能源的願望相衝突的原因。去年,包括世界上幾乎所有大型富裕民主國家在內的 39 個國家和組織 Virtue-signalling 39 或v 39,承諾在今年年底前,停止對國際新化石燃料計畫的所有融資。,世界銀行也在撤退,虛偽很容易被發現: v39四分之三歐洲國,正在國內建造新的化石燃料管道。
That is why the West’s reluctance to finance gas projects is in conflict with Africa’s desire to use more energy. Last year 39 countries and organisations including almost all of the world’s big, rich democracies—call them the Virtue-signalling 39, or v39—pledged to stop almost all financing of new fossil-fuel projects internationally by the end of the year. The World Bank is pulling back, too. The hypocrisy is easy to spot: three-quarters of the European members of the v39 are building new fossil-fuel pipelines at home.
天然氣勘探和開發,主要由私人公司提供資金,因此,該禁令不會阻止天然氣的發現和開採。塞內加爾不需要世界銀行的資金來開發氣田,法爾凱恩先生指出,“因為我們有市場,我們有世界需求”。
俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭導致天然氣價格飆升,使私人投資更容易被吸引。儘管許多歐洲國家拒絕為海外天然氣項目提供資金,但歐盟最近將這種燃料標記為綠色,這將使歐洲的項目,得到環境投資者的支持。
Gas exploration and development are largely financed by private firms, so the ban will not stop gas being found and pumped. Senegal did not need World Bank money to develop its soon-to-produce gas field, points out Mr Fall Kane, “because we have the market and we have world demand”. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent gas prices soaring, making private investment even easier to attract. And despite many European countries’ refusal to finance overseas gas projects, the European Union recently labelled the fuel as green, which would allow Europe’s projects to be backed by environmental investors.
近年來,富裕國家和多邊銀行,平均每年為中低收入國家天然氣發電廠提供約 40億美元資金,大部分資金即將停止,v 39 承諾不會阻止非洲天然氣的開採,但會確保主要是由富裕國家(包括v 39 的成員)來使用。
In recent years rich countries and multilateral banks have financed about $4bn in gas-power plants on average per year in low- and middle-income countries. Much of that funding will now be halted. The v39 pledge will not stop Africa’s gas from being extracted. But it will ensure it will be mainly rich countries (including members of the v39) that get to burn it.

煤氣燈操縱非洲 Gaslighting Africa

**「煤氣燈操縱法」(gaslighting)在心理學裡表示以「扭曲受害者眼中的真實」來控制對方,繼而操控情感。
非洲人的憤怒是可以理解的。他們稱,使用更多天然氣的非洲人,不應成為氣候恐慌的原因。假想一個實驗,實驗中撒哈拉以南非洲(不包括南非)在一夜之間,將人均用電增加五倍,與印度相當,對於普通非洲人來說,這是一個幾乎無法想像的轉變,印度花了近 3 年才實現,即使所有的新電力都完全來自燃氣發電站(沒有人建議這樣做),這些只會增加全球排放量的 1%。
Africans are understandably angry. They argue, convincingly, that Africans using more gas should not be a cause for climate panic. Consider a thought-experiment in which sub-Saharan Africa (excluding already higher-consuming South Africa) increases its electricity consumption per head overnight by an extraordinary factor of five. That would give it a level of electricity consumption per person akin to that of Indonesia today—a scarcely conceivable transformation for ordinary Africans and one which took Indonesia almost three decades to achieve. Even if all the new electricity came exclusively from gas-fired power stations (which no one is suggesting), these would add the equivalent of about 1% of current global emissions.
這樣的算法暗示了一個明顯的事實,由於許多非洲人是窮人,他們比富裕國家的人更容易受到全球變暖的危害,例如乾旱、疾病和更高的食品價格。對於非洲大部分地區來說,適應地球變暖的最佳方式,是他們變得足夠富有以應對這些不好的後果。不讓非洲人使用廉價而可靠的電力,且不採取任何措施抑制全球暖化,只會讓這任務變得更加困難(只讓它們無法因應這些不好後果)。
Such calculations hint at a blunt truth. Because so many Africans are poor they are much more vulnerable to the harms of global warming, such as droughts, disease and higher food prices, than people in richer countries. For much of Africa the best way of adapting to a warming planet is to become rich enough to deal with its consequences. Denying Africans cheap and reliable power will make this task much harder, while doing almost nothing to curb global warming.
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