In the globalised world that we inhabit, replete with its complex private transnational institutions and multinational corporations, energy law is often far from “national”. That is to say, hard legal problems arising in relation to energy issues within a particular country will often have a remarkably international character that can substantially transcend the immediate jurisdictional confines of the country in question.
International Energy Agency
Electricity security is in today’s world a critical component for a well-functioning economy. Many African countries rely heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation, while others have successfully harnessed renewable energy sources – Kenya being an example, with over 80% of its power generation being from renewable energy sources. With the global push to de-carbonise national economies, particularly the power sector, the interdependence of countries through electricity trade will become increasingly important. Countries are now only looking to develop their own clean energy capacity, but will in future, also seek to harness that of neighouring countries through cross-border power trade.
The incremental change in the level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere has led to climate change characterised by rising global temperatures. This has resulted in extreme and often devastating weather across the globe with subsequent negative impact on the world’s economies and societies. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) in July and October 2021 respectively issued projections to the effect that there is no peak in sight for carbon emissions and fossil fuels consumption. According to their data, the projections indicate that by 2050: - a) based on the current policy positions, there will likely be a 50% increase in energy consumption, b) carbon emissions will hit record high levels in the coming years as global economies recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, c) even though renewables will continue to be the fastest-growing new source of energy, hydrocarbon-based fuels will still meet the bulk of the projected demand and finally, d) that despite increased climate ambitions, the levels of funding that governments are allocating to sustainable climate-friendly recoveries is inadequate.