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New Report Isn’t Optimistic About Chinese Development of Wind and Solar Power Projects in Africa… At Least For Now

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at length last week during his keynote address at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation conference in Dakar about the need to promote green energy development in Africa. The continent lags far behind the rest of the world in the use of solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy (see the graph above) which presents both tremendous opportunities for Chinese companies to take the lead but also considerable risks, according to the findings from a new report by The African Climate Foundation (ACF) in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Open University.

China is potentially well-positioned in this new market, given its role as the dominant player in building and financing African energy projects. Between 2000 and 2018, Chinese creditors extended $37 billion of loans for power development and constructed nearly 17 gigawatts of new capacity. But very little of that effort went to building green, sustainable energy initiatives like solar and wind, according to the report.

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