Renewable energy technologies can address climate changeNovember 30th, 2011 - 12:06 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) Renewable energy technologies (RETs) can help address the challenges of international energy poverty and climate change, a study by a UN agency said.
“RETs can complement conventional energy sources in developing countries to ensure that the lack of electricity — which is a major bottleneck to industrial development — can be overcome,” said the Technology and Innovation Report 2011 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released Tuesday.
“Not only could RETs potentially help reduce energy poverty, they could also reduce social inequalities through the creation of new jobs in their application,” it added.
As per estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), over 20 percent of the global population (approx 1.4 billion people) had no access to electricity in 2010.
While South Asia had the largest proportion of people without access to electricity, accounting for 42 percent of the world’s total, sub-Saharan Africa remained the most underserved region, with 69.5 per cent of the region’s population having no access to electricity at all, and only 14 percent of the rural population having access.
The report proposed that developing countries should promote rapid development and deployment of RETs so that it leads to large energy savings through improved energy efficiency.
The report also said that out of the 1.4 billion people who are not connected to electricity grids globally, approximately 85 percent live in rural areas, where RETs can be an important means of energy supply through semi-grid and non-grid solutions.
The supply of energy by RETs, globally, has risen rapidly over the past decade, especially since 2003, when hydrocarbon prices began surging. In 2009, developing countries accounted for about half of all electric power-generating capacity using RETs.
The report also said that developing countries need greater know-how and absorptive capacity to make use of such technologies.
“This calls for coordinated policy support at the national, regional and international levels. Technological absorptive capacity is also important to facilitate the private sector’s greater involvement in the development of RETs.”
The report also argues that governments in developing countries have a pivotal role to play in combining conventional sources of energy with renewable energy technologies.
It says that expanding the use of renewable energy technologies is critical to fostering technological improvements that will bring down their usage costs.
It has also recommended measures by which government agencies and the policy framework can play a decisive role which includes promoting the general innovation environment for the development of science, technology and innovation, making renewable energy technologies viable and enabling enterprise development in and through renewable energy technologies.
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Tags: absorptive capacity, bottleneck, climate change, conventional energy sources, energy efficiency, energy savings, energy supply, global population, hydrocarbon prices, innovation report, international energy agency, rapid development, renewable energy technologies, report also said that, social inequalities, South Asia, sub saharan africa, un agency, unctad, united nations conference