Necessary Policy Measures at the International Level

To make a significant increase in the share of renewable energy-to-energy supply become reality, advanced policy measures have to be adopted globally. Governments from all over the world need to implement necessary minimum policy measures to guarantee the further deployment of renewable energy technologies and additional commitments on the international level have to be made.

Minimum requirements are as follows:

Establishment of legally binding RES targets

The states that are currently actively promoting renewable energy sources should set up legally binding targets for renewable energy sources in their governing areas. The mandatory targets can also be complemented by financial incentives in the respective countries. This too would be an effective policy to address security of supply, technology development, employment and climate objectives.

Awareness of RES

Many decision makers and politicians are not aware of the many results that can be derived by renewables. Therefore, information campaigns are necessary as a tool to provide first-hand information and increase awareness about the advantages of RES in the climate change debate. Additionally, governments should be informed about how RES projects can help them to reach their binding targets of CO2 reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.

More emphasis on RES projects in development policy

In the current development policy, the developing countries' governments put little emphasis on RES. One of the main aims should be to create sustainable development in developing countries (access to energy in order to fight the vicious circle of poverty, which two billion people are still in at the moment, and to foster economic development without this putting pressure on the environmental equilibrium). The target can only be achieved with the use of renewable energy sources.

Support from International Financial Institutions

A special focus needs to be set on financial institutions, such as the World Bank, international export credit agencies or regional development banks. Financial resources should be mobilised to help developing countries carry out their obligations in the field of sustainable development. Funds (small-and medium-sized funds) should be provided for projects in the field of renewable energy sources. A significant part of financial institutions' resources should go to the funding of RES projects for climate change purposes.

Change of subsidies policy

The social and environmental costs of polluting energy are not internalised in current prices of conventional energy. A lot of countries worldwide pay (direct or indirect) subsidies to conventional energy. If this kind of policy is changed, renewable energy sources will be even more competitive.

Research and development

The direct public spending on research and development in the energy sector in the industrialized countries should be increased significantly. Energy research and development priorities should be shifted rapidly away from fossil energy and energy from nuclear fission towards renewables and efficiency.

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol

All efforts should be made to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and set targets for the period after 2012. After having the Kyoto Protocol in place, additional measures and targets for reducing greenhouse gases need to be established. Renewable energy should be set as a priority for all CDM projects.

5.3.1 The Question Is: How Fast Can the Transformation into a Carbon Neutral Energy Supply System Based on Renewable Energy Sources Happen?

Some existing projections neglect the possibilities of renewable energy technologies being available worldwide quickly and easily. In most cases renewables are more cost effective than traditional centralized energy structures, at least where no infrastructure is yet built.

5.3.2 Fifty Percent by 2040 is Feasible

Assumptions made by the EREC - European Renewable Energy Council — together with its member associations (EPIA, ESHA, ESTIF, EUBIA, EUREC Agency, EWEA, AEBIOM and EGEC) based on experiences and cumulative knowledge lead to assumptions about expected annual installation growth rates for different technologies. They show that by 2040 a share of renewable energy up to 50% worldwide is possible. To reach such a share, advanced, intelligent and reliable policy measures have to be implemented at least in the majority of countries worldwide.

Policy measures such as the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, internalisation of external costs for conventional energy supply, ending subsidies to conventional, polluting energy sources and other initiatives have to be adapted to make the assumptions a reality.

If these measures are not adopted in significant parts of the world, the deployment of renewable energy sources will be much slower. But even then the natural needs and benefits of renewables will be used to supply 27% of the world's energy needs.

Scenarios are images of alternative futures. Scenarios are neither predictions nor forecasts. Each scenario can be interpreted as one particular image of how the future could unfold. Scenarios are useful tools for investi gating alternative future developments and their implications, for learning about the behaviour of complex systems and for policy-making.

5.3.3 Advanced International Policies Scenario (AIP)

The assumptions in this scenario are based on ambitious growth rates for renewable energy sources that need additional support measures in order to be reached. It is assumed that regions already active in the promotion of renewables will increase their efforts and that other regions will follow these examples. Higher prices for conventional energy supply are anticipated as well as growing support for electrification of the poor regions by renewables. Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol as well as additional measures on the international level for climate protection and for the promotion of renewables is also needed to reach the assumed growth rates. International cooperation on all levels has to be strengthened. The assumptions for total energy consumption are based on a scenario from IIASA. It is optimistic about technology and geopolitics; it assumes unprecedented progressive international cooperation focused explicitly on environmental protection and international equity. It includes substantial resource transfers from industrialised to developing countries, spurring growth in the south. Nuclear power proves a transient technology that is eventually phased out entirely by the end of the 21st century. Nevertheless, these measures seem to be ambitious but realistic.

Energy is the key theme for future world development. The energy demand worldwide is increasing rapidly, especially in the developing countries and transition countries, which seek to catch up with the economic development attained by industrialized countries during the last century. The great challenge now is to meet this energy demand in a sustainable manner.

Without a sustainable reinforcement of the global energy supply system, sustainable development will not be possible. It is absolutely certain that without major changes in energy supply systems, climate change will have a significant impact on human life. The costs of climate change will not only burden economic development worldwide, but will also lead to natural catastrophes, which remain as yet unknown. Every year that we delay in tackling climate change will make efforts even more cost intensive.

Another goal for the international community must be to overcome poverty in developing countries. More than two billion people have no access to modern forms of energy supply and thus have no opportunities to overcome poverty. Poverty alleviation was one of the main goals of the summit in Johannesburg in 2002, but no major effects will be reached without giv ing the two billion energy-poor access to modern energy supplies. Renewable energy sources, due to their inherent decentralised nature, can contribute significantly to this goal. However, without rapid and resolute international policy support, the expansion of renewable energy sources will not be able to develop the necessary dynamics in time. Nevertheless, it is imperative for many reasons that additional efforts are made:

Climate protection

A mean global temperature change of more than 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrialised levels and a mean long-term rate of global temperature change exceeding 0.2 per decade are intolerable parameters of global climate change.

It will only be possible to remain within this climate window if energy systems are converted from the present use of fossil fuels to climate-neutral energy sources. Renewable energies will need to play the main role in this context.6

Keeping risks within a normal range

A sustainable energy system needs to build upon technologies whose operation remains within the normal range of environmental risks. Energy by nuclear fission fails to meet this requirement, particularly because of its high accident risk and unresolved waste management, but also because of the risks of proliferation and terrorism.

Security of supply

Humankind is approaching the exhaustion of conventional energy reserves. Renewable sources of energy have considerable potential for increasing security of supply worldwide. Developing their use, however, will depend on extremely substantial political and economic efforts. In the medium term, renewables are the only source of energy in which the world has a certain amount of room to aim at increasing supply in the current circumstances. In the long run renewable energy sources will be the only energy source available.

Intensified efforts to improve efficiency are an indispensable element of global energy system transformation at all levels.

6 WBGU — German Advisory Council on Global Change, Policy Paper 3.

The assumptions

Based on past experiences within the renewable energy sector, the EREC scenario believes that with supportive policy measures the following growth rates can be achieved.

Table 1.

1996- 2 2001 2

1996- 2 2001 2

Table 1.

Biomass

2%

2.2%

3.1%

3.3%

2.8%

Large hydro

2%

2%

1%

1%

0%

Small hydro

6%

8%

10%

8%

6%

Wind

33%

28%

20%

7%

2%

PV

25%

28%

30%

25%

13%

Solar thermal

10%

16%

16%

14%

7%

Solar thermal electricity

2%

16%

22%

18%

15%

Geothermal

6%

8%

8%

6%

4%

Marine (tidal/wave/ocean)

8%

15%

22%

21%

In Table 1, one can see the different growth scenarios for the different technologies during the decades up to 2040. It also shows the complementarities of the different renewable energy sources. Some renewable energy technologies will grow more quickly than others during the next 20 years, but will then face a significant reduction in terms of market growth. Others still need some years to reach the break through, but will then — mainly due to cost reductions or technical innovations — grow quickly and steadily.

Also in terms of technical restraints these different growth rates show the complementarity of all renewable energy sources. Intermittency of wind power or PV will not cause any problems to electricity supply until a significant share is reached. But by that time other renewable energy sources such as small hydro or marine technologies will complement the system and by that cover the necessary base-load.

If the advanced cumulative growth rates explained in this paper are reached, renewable energy sources will have a contribution to total primary energy consumption of nearly 50% by 2040.

Fig. 1.

2001

2010

2020

2030

2040

World Primary Energy Consumption

10038.3

10549

11425

12352

13310

Biomass

1080

1313

1791

2483

3271

Large Hydro

222.7

266

309

341

358

Small Hydro

9.5

19

49

106

189

Wind

4.7

44

266

542

688

PV

0.2

2

24

221

784

S olar Therm al

4.1

15

66

244

480

Solar Thermal Electricity

0.1

0.4

3

16

68

Geothermal

43.2

86

186

333

493

Marine (tidal/wave/ocean)

0.05

0.1

0.4

3

20

TOTAL RES

1364.5

1745.5

2694.4

4289

6351

RES Contribution

13.6%

16.6%

23.6%

34.7%

47.7%

Fig. 2. The contribution of renewable energy sources to the world energy supply in 2040 — projections in Mtoe — Advanced International Policy Scenario (IIASA figures for WPEC)

Fig. 2. The contribution of renewable energy sources to the world energy supply in 2040 — projections in Mtoe — Advanced International Policy Scenario (IIASA figures for WPEC)

Solar Power Sensation V2

Solar Power Sensation V2

This is a product all about solar power. Within this product you will get 24 videos, 5 guides, reviews and much more. This product is great for affiliate marketers who is trying to market products all about alternative energy.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment