Articles from Africa
BirdLife supports renewable energy – but not when it comes at the expense of wildlife. In recent years, plans to build a wind farm near an important site for migratory birds have caused much concern among conservationists. Now, opposing action has put it on ice.
Zulu, who is Minister of Small Business Development, is also acting in the place of Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who is understood to be on compassionate leave during a period of mourning for her husband ...According to recent testimony at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Mokonyane was deeply involved in a corrupt relationship with the Bosasa group of companies headed by Gavin Watson. There were concerns that this had created an unacceptable conflict of interest for her as she was the appeal authority in the family’s wind farm application.
During these daily prayer sessions – the ex-employee thought they had been around late 2015 or early 2016 but was unable to recall exact dates – Gavin Watson had on “numerous occasions” mentioned the Roodeplaat wind farm project and the eagles. Watson had told those present – usually between five and ten, but sometimes as many as 15 employees – that his brother had an “environmental problem” with the presence of the eagles at Roodeplaat, and that he [Ronnie Watson] “would book someone to come and shoot these birds”.
Iberdrola Ingeniera Y Construction S.A.U claims that Kinangop Wind Park Limited, which is under receivership, in 2013 contracted it to procure and install the wind turbines but following alleged hostility by the local community the agreement was terminated in 2015.
In Summary: The fact is that Lake Turkana Wind Power project (LTWP) is a disruptive entity that has shaken the core of Kenya’s energy sector. It has opened up the sector to a level of scrutiny hitherto never witnessed. It has shone a light on how traditional infrastructure projects are undertaken.
Notably, the addition of solar panels and wind farms would also increase the average temperature in the region by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally—with a dash of irony—the models works best with less efficient solar panels. As technology accelerates, solar panels that are better at converting energy would also rob the ground of the warm air needed to produce rainfall, and even decrease local precipitation.
“It is up to local people to determine if they are willing to gamble on developing energy infrastructure, which could have recursive effects within the broader ecology of the region,” Wright says. “In the context of Industrial-Era geopolitics, such development projects are likely to benefit very few people in the areas where they are constructed even though the ecological impacts to them will be the most severe. The benefits will flow to the already-developed areas of the world, which assume no risk and only reap the benefits,” Wright says.
Contractor Isolux Corsán won a €142 million EPC contract to build the line in June 2011, but the contract was not signed until August 2014, and the company filed for bankruptcy three years later. The hiatus left power from the Vestas V52-850kW turbines going untapped, and the project's developer, Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) in a precarious position.
Remarkably, a year later this young bird found her way back into the Eastern Cape but what makes this so tragic, is that she was found a mere 0.8km from the nearest wind turbine on a wind farm, alive but electrocuted with a badly burnt and maggot-infested wing! The Eskom network of power lines are known to have detrimental impacts on vultures with the Eastern Cape being no different. The alarming fact is that these birds are now dicing with these monstrous wind turbine blades of the ever increasing wind farm developments taking place in this province. With the increased number of wind farms, so do the power lines multiply.
Negotiations with Siemens on the establishment of 2,000 MW wind farms have stopped for the second time. The project was amongst the ventures agreed upon at the Sharm El-Sheikh economic summit in 2015.
Bird specialist and owner of Avisense Consulting, Andrew Jenkins, said environmental assessment standards “are frequently determined more by the time and budgetary constraints of the developer, rather than by the sensitivity of the receiving environments and the predicted risks of environmental damage”. There was a lack of proper oversight by government ...many EIAs took short cuts and favoured the developer.
"They have been billing Kenya Power," said an energy sector source who sought anonymity, adding that the government could be absorbing a Sh700 million monthly burden, piling the pressure on taxpayers.
The 428 km powerline from Loiyangalani in northern Kenya to Suswa in the centre of the country was due to be completed by October last year, but demands for compensation from landowners along the route and other issues have delayed it.
Power generating firm KenGen has delayed the construction of a 400-megawatt wind-power plant in Meru County until land rows rocking the project are resolved. ,,,The area has been in a conflict of interest from many stakeholders since the power company identified it for the mega project.
“The proposed wind farm would be disastrous for Africa’s Critically Endangered vultures, and many other important bird species, and contradicts Kenya’s commitment to the Convention on Migratory Species.”
Eskom’s half-year report, ending September 30 2016, shows it is compelled to buy bad wind and solar electricity at R2.18/kWh when its own average selling price is R0.89/kWh. But worse is the huge costs to Eskom to having to deal with the hopeless unreliability of renewables
Public opinion may back an increasing proportion of renewable energy being plugged into South Africa's power grid, but Eskom CEO Brian Molefe says further independent renewable power production will be impractical and what he really needs is nuclear energy.
Munyao said the project is likely to violate the petitioners’ rights to a clean and healthy environment and affect their livelihoods. The court established a substantial change has occurred since the project was launched in 2005.
In Kenya the future of the country’s most ambitious wind power projects hangs on the balance thanks to fierce disputes with local communities that are now casting a dark shadow over the future of Kinangop wind power (KWP) project and the Lake Turkana wind park (LTWP).
The wind farm was supposed to be located on the Kinangop plateau but the residents, many who have refused to let go of their land, argue that the project is on private property and they are being coerced to hand over. The residents have also been complaining about the future environmental impact from the plant.