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国际能源署报告:走出能源困境非洲需加大改革力度

Michael Casey 2014年10月17日

国际能源署表示,撒哈拉以南地区的国家必须实施改革,升级基础设施。

    对于撒哈拉以南非洲地区来说,未来数十年里,丰富的能源资源有望成为其强劲增长的催化剂,但是前提是这些国家必须推进改革并升级基础设施。

    国际能源署(International Energy Agency)本周发布的一份报告显示,撒哈拉以南非洲地区的国家必须实施改革来吸引投资者,并投入数千亿美元对陈旧落后的基础设施进行升级改造。

    《非洲能源展望》(African Energy Outlook)报告发现,在过去五年里,全球探明的石油和天然气有30%来自撒哈拉以南非洲地区——该地区包括撒哈拉沙漠以南的若干国家。但与此同时,在当地9.15亿人口当中,仅有2.9亿人可以使用电力。这个人口基数只会不断增长。

    更糟糕的是,由于电力供应不足,该地区有五分之四的人口主要依靠柴禾和木炭做饭。预计到2040年,数值还将增长40%,热带雨林面临砍伐过度的险境,并且将进一步加重室内污染问题——室内污染已成为致使该地区人口早夭的第二大原因,仅次于艾滋病(AIDS)。

    “据我了解,撒哈拉以南非洲地区的能源资源非常丰富,但能源供应和生产却极度不足,”国际能源署首席经济学家法蒂赫•比罗尔在接受《财富》(Fortune)杂志的采访时表示。

    他介绍说:“这些地区蕴藏着巨大的石油和天然气发展潜力,并且在可再生能源方面,比如水电、风能和太阳能,潜力也都非常可观。而另一方面,非洲人民现有的可用能源却极度匮乏。”

    长期以来,非洲一直处于能源困境。像赤道几内亚或刚果共和国等石油、天然气和矿产资源丰富的国家,有极少的一部分人富了起来,但这些国家腐败泛滥,多数市民仍处于贫困之中。此外,能源资源是苏丹和尼日尼亚等国家地缘冲突的导火索,同时也是该地区长年发生政变和政治动荡的原因之一。

    国际能源署的报告中显示,除非各国采取措施应对能源领域的一系列问题,比如解决盛行的石油偷盗(每年为尼日利亚造成损失达50亿美元)和降低电价(这里是全球电价最高的地区之一),否则情况还会继续恶化。另外,腐败仍是在一些国家投资的“主要障碍”。

    “这里存在两个主要的掣肘——投资匮乏以及政府管理问题,”比罗尔表示,该地区能源业每年需要大约1.4亿美元的投资。

    “有一些投资进入该地区,但是我们的研究显示,目前非洲有三分之二的投资都是出口相关项目,而不是服务于非洲人民,”他评价说,“在我们看来,如果政府管理问题得不到解决,就不可能吸引投资。”

    Sub-Saharan Africa’s vast energy resources could be a catalyst for strong growth in the coming decades, but only if countries push through reforms and upgrade their infrastructures.

    According to a report released Monday by the International Energy Agency, countries in the region must enact reforms that will attract investors and spend the hundred of billions needed to upgrade aging and poorly functioning infrastructures.

    The African Energy Outlook found that 30% of global oil and gas discoveries made over the past five years were from sub-Saharan Africa, which includes countries south of the Sahara desert. But at the same time only 290 million out of 915 million people have access to electricity. That figure is only rising.

    Worse, four out of five people in the region depend on firewood and charcoal mainly for cooking due to the lack of electricity. The projection is that figure will rise 40 percent by 2040, putting tropical forests at risk and further contributing to indoor pollution that is already the second biggest cause of premature death behind AIDS in the region.

    “When I look at the continent, sub-Saharan Africa is very rich in energy resources and very poor in energy supply and production,” IEA Chief Economist FatihBirol told Fortune.

    “There is huge potential both for oil and gas and, when it comes to renewables, huge potential for hydropower, wind and solar,” he said. “On the other hand, there is very little energy for the people in Africa.”

    Africa has long been plagued by the resource curse, where abundant oil, gas and minerals in places like Equatorial Guinea or the Republic of Congo have made a select few rich, led to widespread corruption and left the majority of citizens poor. The energy resources have also sparked conflict in countries such as Sudan and Nigeria, and have contributed to years of coups and political unrest.

    That trend is set to continue, the IEA report said, unless countries tackle the range of problems that hinder the energy sector, from widespread oil theft (worth $5 billion a year in Nigeria) to electricity tariffs across the region, which are among the highest in the world. Corruption, too, remains a “major barrier” to investment in some countries.

    “There are two major issues here — the lack of investment and the second one is the governance issue,” Birol said of the need for about $140 million a year across the region for the energy sector.

    “There are investments coming into the region but our study shows that today $2 out of $3 in Africa is for export-related projects not for the Africans,” he said. “We don’t see the investments can come if the governance issue is not fixed.”

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