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Africa Likely to Become Europe’s Most Important Renewable Energy Partner, EU Says

© AP Photo / Abdeljalil Bounhar An aerial view of a solar power plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco on Feb.4, 2016. Renewable energy's potential across the African continent remains largely untapped, according to a new report in April 2022 by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
 An aerial view of a solar power plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco on Feb.4, 2016. Renewable energy's potential across the African continent remains largely untapped, according to a new report in April 2022 by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.02.2023
Russia had been a major oil and gas supplier for the EU until the latter imposed sanctions against Moscow, cutting oil and reducing gas supplies from Russia following the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine. Now the EU is seeking to diversify energy imports.
Africa is “probably going to be the most important partner for Europe in terms of developing the renewable energy sector," the EU climate chief, Frans Timmermans, has said, while speaking at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) meeting in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.
Among such potential partnership projects are plans to import electricity to Greece from Egypt through an undersea cable, which is already under construction; a similar cable link between Europe and Morocco is also being established, European media reported, citing Timmermans.
The said project connecting Greece and Egypt is being undertaken by Greece's Copelouzos Group and is designed to bring 3,000 megawatts of electricity produced from Egyptian renewable energy sources to European countries.
Bringing 3,000 MW of clean energy to Europe, via Greece, “will be much cheaper than today’s energy prices” and will help both Greek and European consumers, said Ioannis Karydas, CEO of renewables, Copelouzos Group, in 2022, commenting on the project.
Apart from pointing to the European strive to "partner" with Africa on the renewable energy issue, Timmermans also emphasized the European interest in green hydrogen, noting that the EU “will need more green hydrogen than we can produce ourselves, so we’re looking for countries where green hydrogen can be produced."
How African nations will benefit from such partnership, however, Timmermans didn't reveal.
Democratic Republic of the Congo's President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo (R) applauds as Pope Francis delivers a speech in the garden of the Palace of the Nation during the meeting of the authorities, the civil society and the diplomatic corps in Gombe, Kinshasa on January 31, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.02.2023
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The statement comes on the heels of a recently published study conducted jointly by the European Investment Bank, International Solar Alliance, and the African Union.
The survey, called “Africa’s Extraordinary Green Hydrogen Potential,” showed that Africa’s green hydrogen potential is worth $1.5 trillion.
According to the paper, "exploiting the continent’s solar energy potential through the development of up to 1.2 GW of new generation capacity in the three-specific hubs could enable the production of up to 50 million tons (mt) of green hydrogen per annum by 2035 at a globally-competitive cost."
The EU, in line with the Western green agenda, has already established partnerships with certain African states, striking a memorandum of understanding with Namibia and EU-Egypt Hydrogen Partnership which are designed to contribute to reducing the effects of climate change under the terms of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and establishing sustainable energy supplies to Europe.
The West has come under fire for what some observers and officials have described as a revival of colonialism.
During his recent trip to Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that “Africa is the richest continent, including in terms of natural resources that have been exploited for many centuries.”
Elaborating on that, the Russian top diplomat argued that the West has been exploiting African natural resources for centuries and wants to keep doing so.
European Union High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell talks to the press as he arrives for an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on January 23, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.01.2023
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Meanwhile, some European officials also acknowledged the motives of Europe's policy towards Africa.
“Our economic relations with Africa are simply a continuation of European colonialism, perpetuating exploitation by other means,” Clare Daly, a Member of the European Parliament, claimed last year, adding that Africans are denied the fruits of their land and their labor by unequal economic relations.
Europe, while sticking to the so-called European Green Deal, had long been the largest consumer of Russian energy commodities until the EU imposed sanctions against Russia in 2022 over the latter's special military operation in Ukraine.
As a result, there has been a dramatic reduction in Russian energy supplies, leading to higher energy prices and prompting the EU to seek new sources of energy supplies.
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