The Anonymous Widower

Could West Africa Become A Green Energy Powerhouse?

I ask this question, because I have just read this article on Hydrogen Fuel News, which is entitled Green Hydrogen Potential Causes Germany to court West African countries.

The article has this sub-title.

Nations in that part of Africa have the capacity to meet 1500 times Germany’s 2030 H2 demand.

That would appear to be a massive amount of hydrogen.

This extract from the article, talks about energy production.

Initial results for the 15 West African Economic Area (ECOAS) countries revealed that a massive three quarters of West African land is appropriate for wind turbines. Moreover, the electricity production from wind energy in the region costs about half the amount it would in Germany.

Additionally, solar power systems can also be economically operated on about one third of the West African region.

Add in a few large electrolysers and you have the hydrogen.

The hydrogen can be transported to Germany by tanker, either as hydrogen or ammonia.

The German strategy is to be underpinned by education, as this extract explains.

In support of developing West African green hydrogen production, a new master’s graduate program on clean H2 technology will begin in September. The purpose of the program will be to train local green hydrogen scientific specialists. The first three waves of the program are expected to train about 180 students attending four universities in Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, and Niger.

Perhaps the Commonwealth should do something similar in West African countries like Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

After all many parts of Australia have very similar climate and population densities and probably energy generation potential to large parts of West Africa.

The Geographical Advantage

It should also be noted that geographically West Africa is close to Europe by ship.

There are no pinch points like the Suez Canal

As the European hydrogen gas network grows, the journey will get shorter.

Does anybody know how long it would take a tanker to go between say Accra in Ghana to Rotterdam?


I would see four main benefits coming to West Africa.

  • Electricity for all.
  • Employment to support the new industries.
  • Hydrogen to power transport.
  • The value of all those exports.

Hopefully, the standard of living of all those in West Africa would improve.


May 26, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liverpool Goes For Gold

This report on the BBC is entitled Commonwealth Games 2026: Liverpool plans to be host city.

Why not?

The only major World or European event it has hosted was the 2008 European Capital of Culture.

But with the Grand National and regular Open Golf just up the coast or across the water, the City has the track record to put on a spectacular.

As the BBC report says, Everton need a new stadium and that could be the main stadium. After all, it worked for Manchester City.

My one question would be, do we need another velodrome, or would borrowing Manchester’s be acceptable?

But in some ways, Liverpool has the same big advantage that London had in the 2012 Olympics.

It can use the City as a backdrop to the events.

I actually, think that 2026 could be Liverpool’s year! I don’t think they were favourites in 2008 either.

  • Liverpool is England’s only World City other than London and Cambridge.
  • By 2026, the city’s railways will have been revamped with lots of new trains.
  • Everton need a new ground.
  • If Liverpool puts on a show, people turn up in hoards.
  • Liverpool is a day trip from Birmingham, London, York and everywhere in between.

Never underestimate a Scouser when they’re considered outsiders.


August 3, 2016 Posted by | Sport | | 2 Comments

The End Of The Don Valley Stadium

Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium was built for the World Student Games in 1991. It was never a real success and is now being demolished.

If there is a lesson from this story, it is to get the planning of what you do after the Games right. Manchester after the 2002 Commonweath Games rebuilt the stadium for Manchester City and the London 2012 Olympic stadium is going to be used by West Ham. Glasgow’s excellent 2014 Commonealth Games imaginatively built an Athletics Track inside Hampden Park. The Don Valley stadium didn’t seem to interest either or both of the city’s football clubs as a venue after the Games, so became a white elephant.

I do think a factor was that the stadium was designed in-house by Sheffield Council’s own architects. This policy was used extensively by British Rail and created some real monstrosities in the 1960s and 1970s.

By contrast the award-winning John Smith’s stadium in Huddersfield, which I visited in the afternoon and was built a few years later, was designed by specialist architects, as have most sports stadia around the world in recent years.

I do think too, that Sheffield missed a chance here of creating a prefabicated set of stands, in steel naturally, that would have fitted the standard athletics track. After the Games most could have been taken down leaving just enough for less-grand events. As the stadium is in a bowl, surely this could have been used to create an uncovered natural amphitheatre, where most people just sat on the grass. This has been used successfully at many horse racing venues in the UK and further afield, like Ascot, Goodwood and Epsom, where these areas have a totally different atmosphere.

In some ways it’s all rather sad and it has been probably a big waste of money, that could have been better spent. Athletics hasn’t drawn large crowds in the UK outside of the big set piece games and championships. The Alexander Stadium in Birmingham seems to be more than sufficient with a capacity of 12,700 for most other events, so the Don Valley stadium was probably a stadium too many for athletics. The nearest stadia at Gateshead, Manchester and the smaller track in Leeds, seem to have successfully negotiated multi-sport partnerships and appear to be on a much sounder footing, than the Don Valley Stadium ever was.

If they’d got the planning, re-use and design right, it might have been a very different story!

April 6, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Does Glasgow Need Its Own Rail Hub?

I’ve just been talking to a friend north of the border and he had not heard of the Northern Hub, which finally is getting the treatment and publicity it deserves.

He was unaware of a scheme in Glasgow called Crossrail Glasgow to link the two main stations and make journeys across the city a lot easier.

Reading about it here on Wikipedia, I can’t understand, why it wasn’t implemented before the Commonwealth Games this year.

Crossrail Glasgow and the Northern Hub, are just two of a whole series of projects to improve transport in our major provincial cities, like the Greater Bristol Metro, the extensions to both the Birmingham and Nottingham trams and the reopening of several important commuter railways.

Could it be that the decision on this rail project would have been taken in Edinburgh?

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye Gambia

I enjoyed a good holiday with C in Gambia the year before she died and I’m sorry to see them leave the Commonwealth, as reported in various papers today.

I obviously don’t want to comment on the rights and wrongs of Gambia leaving, but I did once have a breakfast discussion with the Speaker of the Mozambiquan Parliament about the advantages of joining the Commonwealth, which his country had just done. It was very enlightening.

On the other hand the Times did print this paragraph.

President Jammeh of The Gambia told the United Nations’ General Assembly last month that homosexuals were one of the “biggest threats to human existence”.

So perhaps, the Commonwealth is better off without President  Jammeh.

October 4, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment