Can improved energy efficiency meet the needs of developing nations

can improved energy efficiency meet the needs of developing nations

Nations Environment Programme, nor does citing of trade names or commercial . AND ACHIEVEMENTS. IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY. .. help close the emissions gap needed to meet the 2°C climate goal. EXECUTIVE . This gap points to an urgent need to increase the ambition, scope , and. energy efficiency can deliver significant economic and environmental gains. % would be required to meet the climate mitigation goals set.7 And even if they do understand, they still need to identify not only those s for developed countries to double their electricity use Increased energy consumption is. Renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries can climate financing commitments, such projects could deliver greater reductions of GtCO2e by – provided the international community meets its promise to need for expanded support for knowledge and technology transfers.

In the long-term, advanced coal technologies, such as integrated, combined-cycle gasification systems, coupled with carbon capture and sequestration must be successfully commercialized to make continued reliance on coal resources compatible with global carbon limits.

In contrast, nuclear technology is far more demanding. China and India are poised to make substantial investments in nuclear power during the next few decades. However, this technology is unlikely to be attractive to smaller developing countries in the short- to mid-term because of the operational and waste management challenges it presents and the high initial investment required.

can improved energy efficiency meet the needs of developing nations

Advanced coal systems with carbon capture and sequestration are in an even earlier stage of the research, development and deployment trajectory. Because of the high capital cost and the relatively unproved nature of the advanced coal systems, most analysts believe that developed countries will need to take the lead in demonstrating and commercializing this option.

In contrast, the transportation sector has remained, with few exceptions, overwhelmingly dependent on petroleum fuels. This poses a problem to the environment as transportation accounts for roughly one-quarter of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.

Further, the reliance on petroleum fuels fails to address the issue of energy and economic security despite recent trends in world oil markets. The rapid growth in vehicle ownership and overall travel are potential problems for many developing countries that already are contending with high levels of urban air pollution and seeing a sharp rise in expenditures for imported oil.

Sustainable energy for developing countries

Both options have drawn increased attention in recent years. A number of countries with large vehicle markets, including China and India, have adopted more stringent emissions standards and are considering the adoption of automobile fuel economy standards. At the same time, global interest in biofuel development has intensified, due in part to the adoption of aggressive fuel mandates in developed countries like the United States.

Brazil is already a world leader in this area, having successfully developed a major domestic sugar cane ethanol industry that is economically competitive with conventional gasoline. These are significant issues that should be addressed expeditiously by a thoughtful re-examination and reform of current biofuel policies in the developing world and also in the developed countries that are behind much of the recent drive to expand global production.

In general, such improvements as the ability to cost-effectively convert ligno-cellulosic feedstocks to ethanol would also greatly enhance the net environmental benefits and greenhouse gas reductions achieved by switching from conventional fuels to biofuels.

Policies and Actions 60The energy challenges that developing countries face are significant and increasing. Further, it is clear that developing countries will be unable to avoid the potentially large and adverse consequences without concerted policy interventions by developing and developed countries alike.

None are easy to implement. All require the active engagement of all sectors of society, including individual consumers and local communities, non-governmental organizations, private businesses and industry, the science and technology research community, governments, intergovernmental institutions and charitable organizations. Developing countries must take the lead in charting new energy courses for themselves.

However, developed countries must stand ready to provide support, recognizing that they have a vital stake in the outcome. These policy actions include: Promoting energy efficiency and adopt minimum efficiency standards for buildings, appliances and equipment, and vehicles.

can improved energy efficiency meet the needs of developing nations

Reforming and re-directing energy subsidies. Identifying the most promising indigenous renewable energy resources and implementing policies to promote their sustainable development.

Energy Solutions for Poor Nations

Seeking developed-country support for the effective transfer of advanced energy technologies, while building the indigenous human and institutional capacity needed to support sustainable energy technologies. Speed the distribution of clean, efficient, and affordable cook stoves. First, as noted in the introduction, sustainable energy policies are more likely to succeed if they also contribute to other societal and economic development objectives.

Second, governments should review policies to maximize positive synergies where they exist and to avoid creating cost-cutting incentives. In responding to various pressure groups, governments often adopt conflicting policies that undermine each other, at least in part. For example, government efforts to promote energy efficiency can be undercut by subsidies that tend to promote increased consumption.

Thus, it may not be possible to pursue a comprehensive set of policies all at once. Nevertheless, governments should recognize that maximum benefits can be achieved by an approach that considers the interactions of different policies, leverages multiple opportunities where possible and responds to the specific needs and constraints of individual countries. Energy efficiency 64Assessments of the cost of mitigating climate-change consistently find that energy efficiency improvements offer the largest and least costly emissions-reduction potential, while providing such important ancillary benefits as energy cost savings, reductions in emissions of conventional pollutants, a reduction in the dependence on imported fuels and improved economic competitiveness.

Energy efficiency can be especially important in rapidly industrializing countries as a way to manage rapid demand growth, improve system reliability, ease supply constraints and allow energy the production and distribution infrastructure to 'catch up. Nevertheless, without policy intervention, such improvements are unlikely to keep pace with the continued growth in demand, especially in countries that are still in the early stages of industrialization.

Renewable energy in developing countries

Moreover, experience shows that market forces by themselves often fail to exploit all cost-effective opportunities to improve energy efficiency. However, the opportunities are also great in some rapidly industrializing economies. China, for example, consumes nine times as much energy per dollar of GDP as does Japan. Overall, a recent assessment of global efficiency opportunities by the McKinsey Global Institute indicated that the average annual rate of decline in global energy intensity could be raised in a cost-effective way to 2.

This would be essentially double the recent global rate of decline, which has been averaging approximately 1. This is a significant finding as it confirms that even relatively small changes in year-to-year improvement of energy efficiency can produce a wide divergence of outcomes over time.

The potential benefits of such improvements are very significant in countries that have a rapidly growing demand for new infrastructures, buildings, appliances and equipment. It is usually much easier and more cost-effective to create a high level of efficiency at the outset than to improve efficiency later. In most situations and all countries, it is essential to have programs that promote more efficient use of energy G-8 RETF,p. Efficiency standards for appliances, equipment and automobiles have proved to be extremely cost-effective in many developed countries and are often relatively easy to implement compared to other policies, particularly if they can be harmonized with the standards adopted in other large markets.

Efficiency standards or codes for buildings, especially commercial buildings, are extremely important because of the long useful life of most structures.

Encouraging Sustainable Energy in the Developing World

However, to be effective, countries will need to educate architects and builders and develop the means to monitor performance and enforce compliance with the codes. By setting a floor or baseline for energy efficiency, minimum standards can ensure that there will be substantial energy savings in the future. The Bangalore Electric Supply C For example, governments can adopt labeling requirements and pro-active public procurement policies. Intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and charitable associations can encourage or require the use of more efficient equipment.

In some countries, utility companies have been successfully enlisted to help promote efficiency by end-use customers. There is a substantial history of such programs in the United States.

However, there are also examples in other countries text box A 9 describes a utility-led initiative in India. Subsidy Reform 71Although energy subsidies have declined during the last decade in many parts of the world, subsidies for fossil fuels still amount to tens of billions of U. Cumulatively, these subsidies are less than the taxes imposed on such fossil fuels as petrol G-8 RETF, However, they have several effects that undermine, rather than bolster, sustainable energy objectives.

First, by artificially reducing the price of certain fuels, they distort the market and encourage inefficient levels of consumption that is, consumption in excess of what the society would use if it was necessary to pay a price that was based on market demand or on real costs.

Second, fossil fuel subsidies make it more difficult for energy efficiency and cleaner sources of energy to compete. In fact, many developing-country governments rely on subsidies largely because they lack other reliable mechanisms to make transfer payments to the poor.

However, even as a mechanism to alleviate poverty, the use of subsidies is unsound. Because it is often difficult or impossible to restrict the use of subsidies to the neediest households, most of the benefit typically goes to wealthier households, which can afford a higher level of consumption.

They are provided in many countries. They are also addictive and those who benefit from them are usually unwilling to give them up. Thus, analysts may conclude that subsidies should be eliminated or phased out. However, this is difficult for politicians who must renew their mandates periodically.

For example, a gradual reduction in subsidies for conventional fossil fuels could be used to provide new subsidies for more sustainable forms of energy or more efficient technologies. Alternatively, public resources that are conserved by reducing subsidies could be directed toward other societal needs. This is more likely to be practicable for electricity than for portable fuels like petrol or kerosene.

For example, low-income households could be offered reduced electrical rates for the first increments of consumption. In summary, creative policy approaches are needed to reconcile the differing interests of energy access expansion and the promotion of sustainable energy outcomes.

can improved energy efficiency meet the needs of developing nations

The research community and non-governmental organizations NGOs should respond to this challenge and explore possible solutions, including new mechanisms for transferring aid to poor households to enable them to meet their basic needs.

In principle, monetizing positive and negative externalities and ensuring that they are included in energy prices is an elegant way to address many issues of sustainability. Without this step, the market will tend to over-allocate resources where there are negative externalities such as pollution and under-allocate resources where there are positive externalities such as improved energy security. Figure 6 illustrates the results of one attempt by the European Commission to quantify the external costs of global warming, public health, occupational health and material damage associated with different ways of generating electricity.

It shows that the ignored costs that are associated with coal, lignite and oil often greatly exceed the current cost differential with many renewable technologies. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the specific number for external costs that should be assigned to any technology.

Zoom Original jpeg, 26k Source: Governments are continually forced to make decisions based on reasonable judgment and negotiated in a political process in the face of uncertainty.

Encouraging Sustainable Energy in the Developing World - Science in the News

In practice, the greatest difficulty is likely to be political. Raising energy prices is almost always very unpopular with business leaders and the public.

There will be objections that higher energy prices may harm consumers and the economy, particularly competitive industries and low-income households. As in the reduction or removal of subsidies, any effort to internalize externalities must deal with the conflicting desires to raise prices for many conventional forms of energy and to expand access for the poor.

This general point applies whether government seeks to internalize externalities by a tax or by environmental regulation. Because of the parallel situations, some of the approaches used in subsidy reform may be helpful, including the use of a gradual approach and offsetting the impact on poor households by other forms of assistance.

More than 30, very small solar panels, each producing 12 to 30 watts, are sold in Kenya annually. More than 30 million rural households get lighting and cooking from biogas made in household-scale systems. These stoves are being manufactured in factories and workshops worldwide, and more than million households now use them. Energy poverty Renewable energy projects in many developing countries have demonstrated that renewable energy can directly contribute to poverty alleviation by providing the energy needed for creating businesses and employment.

Renewable energy technologies can also make indirect contributions to alleviating poverty by providing energy for cooking, space heating, and lighting. Renewable energy for cooking and heating can reduce the time that children spend out of school collecting fuel. The constant use of these types of energy sources exposes them to indoor particulate and carbon monoxide concentrations many times higher than World Health Organization WHO standards.

Women and children suffer most, because they are exposed for the longest periods of time. The WHO estimates that 2. Reallocation of subsidies to cleaner sources of energy would allow an easier adoption of these technologies instead of perpetuating the consumption of fossil fuels. In these locations, the lack of infrastructure for conventional energy sources may make it more cost-effective to install local renewable energy systems [9].

An interesting example of this is found in the African country of Senegal, which chose to seek alternatives to diversify their energy supply, exploring the possible addition of renewable energy into their energy portfolio, ways to encourage an increased share of energy produced from renewable sources, and feed-in-tariffs both for off-grid solar and wind [9].

Examples of these projects include small-scale solar photovoltaics aimed at providing a regional supply of energy to charge cellphones, solar lamps to phase out kerosene lamps, small solar ovens to provide an alternative for cooking, or in regions more abundant in water resources, micro-hydro electricity generation projects.

Moreover, improved access to sustainable sources of energy could promote social development, for example through the empowerment of women by freeing them from the laborious task of accruing traditional sources such as firewood [11]. Conclusion It is clear that no single approach will allow the switch from cheaper conventional energy technologies to cleaner and more sustainable ones in developing countries, yet with international coordination, government policies to level the playing field for renewable energy, and participation of the private sector, it is possible to foresee a future for sustainable energy in the developing world.

Which strategy should be adopted to aid the implementation of sustainable energy would likely vary from country to country, as their fiscal, social and geographical conditions may favor different means, but the important thing is that they start developing these policies now.

The transfer of resources, funds, and technological knowledge from developed countries is a crucial part of sustainable energy deployment in the developing world, and must be a collaboration involving research, business, venture capital, and government organization in both groups of countries [12].

This approach of technological and financial transfer may be the most promising in promoting sustainable energy, and could allow both developed and developing countries to find common ground in balancing environmental protection mutual socioeconomic development.

The Need to Level the Playing Field.