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Climate Change, Hydro-dependency and the African Dam Boom

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  • Matthew Cole
  • Robert Elliott
  • Eric Strobl

Abstract

We examine Africa's increasing reliance on hydropower in light of climate change induced variations in rainfall and the potential power outages that may result. We use a continent wide riverflow material model and IPPC climate change scenarios and show that current plans for African dam building are fairly well matched with river-flow predictions so that fears that international donors and national governments are making a series of expensive and environmentally damaging investments may be overstated. However, predictions of an increase in extreme events and reduced rainfall for certain countries means there are still viabilty concerns for certain planned hydropower investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Cole & Robert Elliott & Eric Strobl, 2014. "Climate Change, Hydro-dependency and the African Dam Boom," Discussion Papers 14-03, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:14-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wolde-Rufael, Yemane, 2006. "Electricity consumption and economic growth: a time series experience for 17 African countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1106-1114, July.
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    4. IIMI, Atsushi, 2007. "Estimating global climate change impacts on hydropower projects : applications in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4344, The World Bank.
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    6. Karekezi, Stephen, 2002. "Poverty and energy in Africa--A brief review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(11-12), pages 915-919, September.
    7. AfDB AfDB, . "Africa Competitiveness Report 2013," Africa Competitiveness Report, African Development Bank, number 456, July-Dece.
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    10. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6014.
    11. repec:eee:ecomod:v:201:y:2007:i:3:p:301-311 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Jane Ebinger & Walter Vergara, 2011. "Climate Impacts on Energy Systems : Key Issues for Energy Sector Adaptation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2271.
    13. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
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    1. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-492 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Anshelm, Jonas & Simon, Haikola, 2016. "Power production and environmental opinions – Environmentally motivated resistance to wind power in Sweden," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1545-1555.
    3. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-478 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-453 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-475 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Huber, Amelie & Joshi, Deepa, 2015. "Hydropower, Anti-Politics, and the Opening of New Political Spaces in the Eastern Himalayas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 13-25.

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    Keywords

    Hydropower; Climate Change; Africa Energy;

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