Delegates to the 18th African Hydro Symposium explored using the United Nations-authorized Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to stimulate African hydropower project development.
Delegations from 11 African countries attended the symposium October 9-13 in Durban.
An important focus of discussion was how the CDM — established under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases — could be applied to develop African hydro projects. The CDM program allows industrialized countries to undertake joint carbon emissions reduction projects with developing countries and to use the resulting emissions credits to meet their own emissions reduction targets.
Participants were told CDM benefits promise to underwrite about 20 percent of the financing requirements for qualifying projects. The process could enable African nations to develop much needed electricity supplies based on hydropower while helping developed nations meet their Kyoto targets for emissions reductions.
Much of the symposium was devoted to sharing experiences. Examples included: how problem lake weeds are being managed; how potentially catastrophic defects in a high-pressure steel penstock were discovered and repaired; and how training needs are being addressed. In addition, presenters from Ghana, Malawi, and Mozambique shared their experiences performing major repairs, upgrading, and refurbishment at power stations.
Eskomï¿½South Africa shared preliminary design details for its recently authorized 1,333-MW Braamhoek Pumped-Storage scheme, to be developed in the Drakensberg region. At the conclusion of the symposium, delegates visited Eskom’s 1,000-MW Drakensberg Pumped-Storage station, 300 kilometers northwest of Durban. Eskom Generation of South Africa was host of this year’s symposium.
The 19th African Hydro Symposium is scheduled for November 5-9, 2007, in Aswan, Egypt.