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Green energy dropping out of mix in developing world

April 12, 2016

By Paul Homewood




From Sci Dev Net:


Developing countries that already have a high share of renewable energy in their power mix are unlikely to grow this share further due to skyrocketing demand for cheap electricity, a report warns.
The study by intergovernmental organisation the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that many developing countries made huge strides towards deploying renewable technologies over the past decade — but this rise is now levelling off. Instead, these countries are turning towards fossil fuels to meet the energy demands of their citizens, IRENA says.

“If there is a growing energy demand in an economy and if this additional demand is covered by fossil fuels, the relative share of renewables will decrease.”
Beate Braams, energy ministry, Germany

Nicholas Wagner, an IRENA programme officer who helped prepare the report, says countries such as Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria “have a high share of renewable biomass as part of their energy portfolios, which is fine”. But instead of focusing on increasing this, these countries have instead turned to fossil fuels to power greater demand for heating, cooling and transport, he says.
Renewables formed nearly 50 per cent of Indonesia’s energy mix in 2000, but this had dropped to under 40 per cent by 2013, the report found. China, India and Mexico have also seen their renewable share fall over this period.
But globally, share of renewables in the energy mix has slightly risen over the past decade, the report, published last month, found. In 2015, a total of 150 gigawatts of additional renewable energy was installed around the world, IRENA says, the largest annual amount yet.
Beate Braams, a spokesperson for Germany’s energy ministry, says the drop in the proportion of energy coming from renewables in developing countries could be because growing energy needs are largely being met by other sources.
“If there is a growing energy demand in an economy and if this additional demand is covered by fossil fuels, the relative share of renewables will decrease, even if there is no decrease in absolute terms for renewable energy,” she explains.


The report’s authors stress that concerted action is needed if developing countries are to develop renewable energy soon enough to meet international emission targets put in place to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. But to meet that goal, renewable energy deployment must happen six times faster than current rates, the authors warn.
They point out that focusing on renewables would also create jobs in developing countries, while making their economies more independent and creating cleaner, healthier environments.


“If there is a growing energy demand in an economy and if this additional demand is covered by fossil fuels, the relative share of renewables will decrease, even if there is no decrease in absolute terms for renewable energy” must qualify as dumb statement of the year!


For some reason, IRENA seem to have trouble getting their head around why developing countries prefer cheap, reliable and readily available energy. Forget talk of 150 gigawatts of additional renewable energy installed in 2015, the reality is that renewable energy, excl hydro, barely increased its share of primary energy consumption from 2.2% to 2.4% in 2014 globally.

  1. Tom O permalink
    April 12, 2016 8:36 pm

    I have no idea why they call these renewables. By the time the cost of original investment is expended across the energy generated, so that the actual energy cost of energy produced comes down to what can be afforded, it is time to replace the wind mills, solar panels, whatever, since they are either used up or their efficiency has dropped to where the cost of energy produced starts to increase again. Yes, the wind and Sunshine continues, but equipment needs replacement, and the cost of energy produced bounces straight back up to the level it started at again. It is idiotic to pretend renewables create jobs as when something ceases to be profitable, it goes out of business, taking the attendant jobs with it., Renewables seem to me to be the pathway of choice for going back to the dark ages or even earlier still. Worse, all these people pushing for renewables will be living in their warm homes and driving their quaint electric cars and flying to their palm rubbing, back slapping, “I am so proud of myself” meetings in their solar powered airplanes, while people die in the winter from being unable to heat their homes or from influenza or pneumonia because they can’t afford to eat well. And yes, they will be fossil fueled airplanes they fly on to their exotic meetings at tax payers expense, not solar powered ones. I just said that to add a touch more arrogant stupidity to the way they “dis-function.”

  2. April 12, 2016 11:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  3. Michael Adams permalink
    April 13, 2016 12:29 pm

    Always keep in mind that the fundamental theory, the mental foundation of everything socialists and environmentalists want it the destruction of the bourgeoisie, with its creature comforts, If a revolution is slow in coming, persuade a multitude of people to live “closer to nature,” i.e.freezing in the dark.In a way, it’s more direct than even the aftermath of a civil war would be.

  4. Bloke down the pub permalink
    April 13, 2016 12:52 pm

    The growth of renewables in the developing world probably came about as places that are off grid found the cheapest way to get an electricity supply. Now these countries are looking for a cheap and reliable source of generation to supply their growing economies, and no suprise at all that they turn to fossil fuels.

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