Will Africa’s rivers and sun power Europe?

Two massive power-generating schemes have been launched in recent weeks. One offers to create the world’s largest solar farm, the other to create the biggest hydroelectric dam on the planet. While situated in Africa, they both aim to export electricity to Europe. The Independent weighs up the pros and cons of two ambitious projects, which, according to many critics, smacks of a colonial style power grab.

Published on 25 August 2009 at 13:04
 | Beamed direct into your home. Sunrise over the Tunisian Sahara. (Image: Fif')

Less than 30 per cent of African households have access to electricity. And yet on African soil two vastly ambitious energy projects have been launched – Desertec and the Grand Inga Dam, the latter hailed by the World Bank as a spur to development. The Independent’s Africa correspondent Daniel Howden weighs the pros and cons of these schemes, much of whose projected production will go to Europe.

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