The Energy Challenge For The Developing World

It is one thing to compare a developing country in Africa with the sustained advantages of the “West”.  However, it is now necessary to look to the “East” at how terribly impoverished populations are escaping their economic torpor for prosperity:

Canadian Energy Issues:  “Industrial strategy and cheap energy:  why China is eating, and will keep eating, our lunch,” 12 Jan 11, Steve Aplin

“…China’s internal market is about to turn into an economic force unprecedented in human history.  …According to a 2009 World Bank report, half a billion (that’s a “b”, not an “m”) Chinese came out of poverty between 1981 and 2004 — that means 500,000,000 Chinese are now consuming the economic output of others to a greater degree than before 1981…

“…interestingly, 1981-2004 also sported the greatest rural electrification drive in history.  Researchers at Stanford University revealed that electricity has been introduced to over 900 million rural Chinese since 1950 — by far the most after 1981.  In 1981, 98 out of 100 rural Chinese households did not have a washing machine; 999 out of every 1,000 did not have a refrigerator.  By 2004, 3 out of 5 did not have a washing machine, while 4 out of 5 did not have a refrigerator.  Still a lot way to go but that’s a lot of progress.

“…China has a double advantage in world export markets:  it has both cheap labour and cheap power.  In North America, labour costs are high, and that’s good because it gives workers there an excellent standard of living.  But North American ENERGY does NOT have to be expensive.

“…The problem is that North America is embarking on deliberate policies of expensive energy.  The governments plan to spend REAL money to add wind, solar, and gas generation into the electricity system — in spite of the fact that these are ruinously expensive.

“…We must consider that the Chinese economic behemoth rising is fueled with cheap electricity and cheap labour.  …we cannot and should not compete with China by lowering our labour costs.  WHICH MEANS WE MUST NOT INCREASE OUR ENERGY COSTS (emphasis ours)…

“…the feds have virtually ensured China will start eating our lunch soon, and keep eating it for the foreseeable future.   Those who recognize the early 21st century asa the time of China’s astonishing rise, will also notice how western governments deliberately pursued energy policies that undercut their own economies…”

China plans to add 120,000 megawatts of new nuclear generating capacity by 2020.

We plan to add new LFTR generating capacity that will deliver electricity at 50% of the cost of conventional nuclear generated electricity directly to local distribution grids in Africa.

Competitive energy costs can drive prosperity in the poorest nations as well as it can in the United States, China, Europe, or India — plentiful affordable energy gives a country’s labour pool a fighting chance.

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