D.A. Barber

  • Solar Panel Factories Spark Job Growth Across Africa

    By D.A. Barber, 2:15 am AFKI Original

    South Africa’s aggressive renewable energy program has been a magnet for solar manufacturing companies. Other countries are expanding their energy expansion programs. So far in 2014, five new solar panel manufacturing plants have been announced or opened, adding to the nearly dozen that already exist in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Is Africa’s Nuclear Power Renaissance Heading Into An Abyss?

    By D.A. Barber, 2:21 am AFKI Original

    South Africa, which relies on coal for more than 85 percent of its electricity, wants to wean itself off fossil fuels by using more nuclear power. Kenya, Nigeria, and other sub-Saharan countries have similar aspirations and are not far behind. It’s a gutsy move for South Africa. Nuclear power plant construction has stagnated worldwide.

  • Is South Africa A Global Solar-Power Role Model?

    By D.A. Barber, 2:11 pm AFKI Original

    South Africa is on track to become one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in the world. The success of its solar power development has become a global model for how to attract renewable energy investors and developers. In 2012, renewable energy accounted for less than 1 percent of South Africa’s energy mix. This is forecast to grow to 12 percent by 2020 and electricity from solar is expected to be the cheapest energy source in South Africa. South Africa’s evolving experience illustrates to other regions that investment obstacles don’t seem to be a problem when the world’s leading solar manufacturers and developers are jostling for position.

  • South Africa Upgrades Port, Rail Infrastructure To Boost Exports

    By D.A. Barber, 2:06 am AFKI Original

    Transnet operates 13 cargo terminals in seven South African Ports — Durban, Richards Bay, Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London. Container shipments increased by 9.4 percent in the last review period.

  • Obama’s ‘Power Africa’ Initiative Showing Results, Draws Criticism

    By D.A. Barber, 4:41 am AFKI Original

    In his June 30 speech in South Africa, President Obama launched “Power Africa” with a pledge of $7 billion in government funding – with another $9 billion of private money – over five years to double access to electricity in the six sub-Saharan countries of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania using “clean energy” to support economic growth.

  • Portable Solar Power Finds a Niche in Rural Africa

    By D.A. Barber, 11:53 am AFKI Original

    Because a larger share of Africa’s population has mobile phones than electricity, this has created a unique opportunity to bring power to rural areas with no grid access. Pay-as-you-go plans for off-grid solar power are combining solar and mobile phone technology.

  • Conflict food? UN Declares African Year of Agriculture

    By D.A. Barber, 7:45 am AFKI Original

    African farmers average 50 to 60 years old, but more than half the population is less than 25 years old. “Agriculture is the only sector of the economy capable of absorbing this workforce,” according to the Food & Agriculture Organization. “There is no inclusive and sustainable way forward for Africa without women, youth and agriculture.”

  • Africa’s Rift Valley Geothermal Energy Investment Boom Heats Up

    By D.A. Barber, 10:27 am AFKI Original

    Geothermal energy is expected to provide half of Kenya’s electricity needs by 2018. When all Kenya’s projects are completed, it could lead the world in geothermal energy and become the center of geothermal technology on the African continent. Ethiopia’s latest project is expected to be the largest geothermal facility in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Africa’s Offshore Oil Drilling Industry Is Shifting

    By D.A. Barber, 11:48 am AFKI Original

    With the oil production development slowdown in Nigeria, Angola has emerged as an equally significant country for oil exploration and threatens to dethrone Nigeria as Africa’s leading oil producer. More than a third of all discoveries made over the last three years in the region have occurred offshore Angola.

  • Nigeria Moving Into Solar Energy To Spur Business Growth

    By D.A. Barber, 2:02 am AFKI Original

    Nigeria strives to give its failing power system a renewable energy fix to eradicate the nation’s intense energy poverty. The long-awaited privatization of the state power company is finally in effect and a recent power expo was abuzz with the promise of electrifying rural Nigeria with new off-grid projects.