Fossil Fuels-Still Part of Africa’s Energy Mix

Neil Upton, Partner for the Energy and Infrastructure Group, SJ Berwin LLP
Published: Sun 05 May 2013

It is unfair to expect Africa not to draw on its abundant fossil fuel resources for power especially since developed countries worldwide currently have no intention of dropping fossil fuels for power. This is according to Neil Upton, partner for the energy and infrastructure group, SJ Berwin LLP. Although this is not environmentally responsible or politically correct, fossil fuel forms a large part of Africa’s energy mix.

This is because it occurs naturally in large quantities on the African continent and is cheap and quick to develop. While nuclear power is somewhat “cleaner” than fossil fuels, its development takes longer. It is therefore in Africa’s best interest to develop the most secure and efficient low cost fuel for power because without power, the continent will not be able to develop its industrial sector.

Development in the industrial and power sectors will lead to employment and a better quality of life. He explains that fossil fuels should not be prohibited, but rather form part of an energy mix. Mr Upton adds that more technical solutions are being developed around mitigating the effects of fossil fuels, such as carbon capturing which will help Africa to operate in a more environmentally-friendly manner.