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World Bank Wants Us All To Be Poor

January 28, 2018

By Paul Homewood



Apparently the World Bank thinks that having 80% of renewable electricity is a good thing.

This is the map:


Now shoot me down in flames if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the one thing that most of these countries have in common is poverty.

The only exceptions are Norway, Iceland and Brazil.

Iceland gets almost all of its electricity from hydro, along with a bit of geothermal. As the World Bank own data shows, Iceland was getting just as much from these sources in 1990.

Norway gets 96% of its power from hydro, which again is little different to decades ago.

Hydro also provides most of Brazil’s power, 66% in 2016 according to BP. Wind and solar only supply 6%. Significantly though, again according to the World Bank’s data, the share of renewables in Brazil’s electricity mix has actually fallen from 95% in 1990, to 73% in the latest figures.

The reason for this is very simple – Brazil’s electricity generation has increased from 222 TWh to 581 TWh between 1990 and 2016. As the country’s economy has rapidly grown during that time, it has needed reliable and affordable energy, provided by fossil fuels.

Meanwhile the rest of the countries on the map are extremely poor. Countries like Malawi, which are desperate for a reliable power supply. As I reported a few weeks ago, Malawi is far too dependent on hydro power, which is far from reliable when river levels drop. As a result, 90% of Malawians cannot even get electricity at all, and those who can regularly face power cuts.

Not only does this impact ordinary Malawians, who depend on charcoal and wood burning for cooking, but economic activity is also restricted as a result.

Mark Smedley, who admittedly is not exactly unbiased as Editor of Natural Gas Africa, sums up the situation perfectly, with this comment on the World Bank post:

 It’s an interesting graphic. Many sub-Saharan countries also have v low 2012 World Bank access to electricity ratings: 9.8% for Malawi, 10.8% for Central African Rep, 16.4% for Congo Dem.Rep, 20.2% for Mozambique and 22.4% for Zambia so are eager for some non-renewable alternatives. Malawi is eying coal-fired power. Because of intermittent hydro in Ghana, the World Bank is supporting projects to increase local gas production (much cleaner than coal). A high renewables proportion of the energy mix in some countries just means a scarcity of alternative energy and investment capital. The boss of Eni, an investor in gas-fired power in Africa, last week addressed ‘the curse of biomass’ in a guest lecture at the IEA and called for more effort to electrify Africa

According to their logo, the World Bank is “Working for a World Free of Poverty”.

They have a strange way of going about it!

  1. Joe Public permalink
    January 28, 2018 8:45 pm

    If only the World Bank and *all* its senior employees, were based in one of those countries.

    • Adrian permalink
      January 28, 2018 9:57 pm

      Actually Paul this is one for you, I’m already poor!

  2. Graeme No.3 permalink
    January 28, 2018 9:05 pm

    Perhaps the World Bank should make a gesture and for the rest of the winter heat its Head Quarters with dry camel dung.

  3. January 28, 2018 9:10 pm

    “the World Bank is “Working for a World Free of Poverty” That’s one of those statement that results in Diet Pepsi being spit out on the keyboard. Does anyone actually believe this drivel?

    • January 29, 2018 6:29 am

      I’m sure most politicians believe everything they are told by the UN and all these other unaccountable international bodies.

    • January 30, 2018 9:51 pm

      It takes cheap and reliable energy to lift people out of poverty (plus other things like good governance, freedom of enterprise, etc.) and the role of fossil fuels is proven in the developed nations who have benefited. An overview of the energy disparity and the related issues is an article How Much Energy Do We Need? synopsis here:

  4. mikewaite permalink
    January 28, 2018 9:42 pm

    When I tried to get more information about the individual countries ( to see the correlation , if any , between % renewables and GDP) I received this message from Firefox:

    -“The owner of has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.”-

    Does not give you much confidence in their competence does it I wonder how much UK taxpayer’s money our govt throws at them each year. More money down the sewer.

  5. Broadlands permalink
    January 28, 2018 10:00 pm

    If they want us to be poor all they have to do is wait to see what it will cost to use untested capture-and-store technology to lower CO2 and remove billions of tons of it from the atmosphere. Everyone will be in poverty, even Al Gore?

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      January 28, 2018 10:12 pm

      That’s a brilliant idea. Announce that the cost of getting rid of CO2 will fall ENTIRELY on the rich. A levy on their capital as they will have their income arranged so as to pay very little. watch the Millibrands and Blair come out in support (perhaps).

  6. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 28, 2018 10:36 pm

    I’m visiting Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia at the moment. Hydro is strong everywhere. None are conspicuously poor, bits are very prosperous. No outages that I’ve heard of. Bolivian gasoline is c. 36p a litre. I’ve looked hard but haven’t seen a bloody windmill anywhere.

  7. January 28, 2018 10:54 pm

    Hydro goes for Costa Rica as well, about 75%. Small population, not much heavy industry, lots of mountains/valleys and plenty of rainfall most of the year round

  8. dennisambler permalink
    January 29, 2018 12:27 pm

    The World Bank has had considerable influence in the UK:

    Nick Stern was previously Chief Economist and Senior VP at the World Bank:

    Also ex World Bank, Grantham Institute with Stern, Climate Change Committee, colleague of Stern and Figueres at Idea Carbon,

    Ex World Bank again, Professor Robert Watson, IPCC head before Pachauri:

    “Director of Strategic Development at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, here at UEA. I have worked as Chief Scientist at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA);

    Chief Scientific Advisor and Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development at the World Bank”

    Worked for Al Gore in the Clinton White House, this was his leaving party from the World Bank:

    Gore called him his “hero of the planet”.

  9. Robert Jones permalink
    January 30, 2018 8:20 pm

    I am now old enough to spot than any organisation which purports to be supranational (such as the UN (and its many sub-units) and the EU) is necessarily staffed by left-wing non-entities whose characteristics are bound to embrace interference, high staff salaries, even higher expense accounts, waste, corruption, stupidity, and technical/scientific ignorance. Nevertheless they all have an overweening belief that they know best! But while they continue to fool themselves (and some of our politicians) hungry people in the third world are dying unnecessarily from lack of clean energy and food.

    This is wrong!

  10. FundMe permalink
    January 31, 2018 10:55 pm

    Namibia’s main sources of Power Generation

    120 MW coal-fired Van Eck power station in Windhoek
    24 MW diesel-powered Paratus power station at Walvis Bay
    22.5 MW ANIXAS diesel-powered station at Walvisbay
    332 MW hydro-electric Ruacana Power Station at Ruacana

    In the process of being built,

    800 MW Kudu Gas fired power station.

    Where did the World bank get their figures from, me thinks out of their rectum maximus. This is just one of the countries that I checked. I was stationed there and guarded the hydro electric plant at Ruacana, during the bush war in the 80s… 90% renewable I dont thnk so.

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