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South Sudan: Govt. replaces small polluting generators with diesel-run plant despite signing Paris Agreement on climate change

Author: Reuters, Published on: 2 December 2019

"Energy-short South Sudan powers up - but with fossil fuels"

South Sudan, a vastly power-short country where most businesses and households rely on diesel generators to keep things running, has opened a new fossil fuel power plant - one it is touting as a green solution for residents. The government and construction company said the plant will provide “much cleaner air” for residents of the capital as it displaces thousands of polluting small generators. Right now, “every household, every business has a generator running 24 hours to supply electricity. Now bringing all these in one pool ... the city will be much cleaner,” said Meron Tekie Ezra, managing director of construction and development for Ezra Group, the Eritrean firm that built the 33-megawatt plant. The plant, which opened last week, will serve about 100,000 households and is the first phase in a larger plan to bring 100 megawatts of new power to the world’s newest country by the end of 2021...

The new power plant, which will run on diesel fuel as well, has scrubbers to reduce emissions compared to diesel-run generators, its backers said. But the installation of a fossil fuel plant comes as countries around the world move to cut reliance on fossil fuels to curb global warming in line with the Paris Agreement to cut climate change - a deal South Sudan signed. While the facility may reduce emissions compared to using generators, installing renewable power - from solar, wind, hydropower or other clean sources - would have been a cleaner and potentially cheaper choice, some say.

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