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Climate Change:

Panel Outlines Potential Of Renewable Energy By Kamal Tayo Dropo IO BO percent of the world's energy supply could be mel by rene\~bles by rlUd<~ntury Ifb.lcked by the nghl enabling pubiac policies a new repon by I h~ hll t?'lO\'e",m~nral Polnel on Climate Change {IPCC),shows.. lhe IPCe Is the leading imernational body ror tile assessmen t or c lilllat~ change. It was esta blished byth~ Unltoo Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Ol'ganiLltion (WMO) In I98B to R'Vlew olnd assess tne most r~c~1lI scielllifk, rechnlcal and socio-cconomic Information produced world\\'lde relevant to Ihe understand .. mg of climate change. It does nO( conduct any rfieareh nor does It monitor climale rel.1ttd dna. The UN General Assembly endo~ Ihe ,Iction by Wf\lO and UNEP In jointly establish· ing the IPce. Tfae Hndlngs. from over 110 re5Colrchers work· ing with the Panel,ollso Indicale that the rising ~neuatlon or rtMWable en~rgles could leold to rumul.ul\'t g~nhouse gas SiI\lIng5 equlva-lem to no to S60 GlgalOnnesor carbon diox· Id~ (GtC02eq) betw~n 2010 and 2050. The upper ~nd or the scenarios asses~, ~p­ resenting a cur or around a Ihird Ingreenhouse gas emiSSIons from busmus..u·usual projections. could assist In keeping concentra· lions of greenhouse gases: at 450 pans per mil· lion. Thls could cOlllribute towards a goal of holdIng the increase In global temperature beloo.v 2 degrees C~ls lus - an aim recognill-d In Ihe UllItOO Nations ClIlMle Convention's Cancun Agreemems. lhe findings. lilunchtd on Thursday, aft er being approved by m~mber counuies of the IPeCln Abu Dhab ,United Arab Emirales, ar~ contained In a summary for politymakers or the "Special RtI)Qn on Rtne\.,.able Ener~ Sources and C .mate Change Mltlgallon


increoOl5e of r~n~wabl es Is technkal1y and politiully vtrych.a ll enging.~ he added. Youba Sokol\Jl, who is also.a (o.(iuirof the

Working Group Ill. said: "1111: pouential rolt: of Rntwable energy technologies 10 metllng the n~ of the poor and In powenng the sustainable gro\M of d~elopinH .and dew:l· oped economIes can trigger Sll.1rply polarized views. TIlls lPee repan has brought some much needed cloJ ru y 10 lilisdel)Jlc In orde r 10 in(ann governmenls on th e options and dedo.

sions tNl will be needed If Ihe world is to col· I«dIRty (ealiLe 01 10\,.. (oarbon, far more ri"$Ource emden! dod equUable devt.lopment path..-

But [0 Ramon Pichs-Madruga, .Iso a Co<halr of the Working Group 1I1:1ne Rpon shows lhatll is not the availabIlity of the resource,

but th~ public policies that will ~Ith~r ~xpand or constrain r~newabl~ en~rgy devtlopment o\-er th~ coming decades. Oe\'t;loplngcoun· tries have an Imporunt sla~ In ihlS lutur~ ­ this IS wher~ most of the l -l billion propl~ without acem 10 d«trklt)' li~ ~I also \\'h~rt some of the best conditions ulsl for rtnewablt ~ne.rgy d~plo)'rnent." Also spe:aklng at lh~ bunch, Ral~ndra Pachaurl, Chainnan of lh~ 1l'CC, stattd that Ihe IPCC brought 1000ether Ih ~ mOSI r~ie\'ant ilnd best available. informadon to provid~ th~ world wilh lh~ scl~ntific assessmtnt of the potemial of rene\~blten~rgy sources 10 mllig.necJlmal~ change. "The Special Rrpon an sen-e as a sound kilOW"led~~ basis for poll9"makers to ake on this malor chdllenge of lhe 21St cenrury," h~ said. The rtpon will feed into the brooderworkof the IPCe as it prepares itS Fifth Assessmem ""pon !AR5~ 111e SyntheSIS Repon Is schedu ed for finalization In 5eptember2014. The SRREN, approved by governmenl rep~ Sl'ntadves front t94 nations, Including Nigeria. has revlewro the curr~nt penetrallon of s.ix rtn~abl~ energy technolOfdes and their potential deploym~nt over ihe coming ISRREN ~ lhe sumnury Is a shon version of a roughly a deodes. The SIX renewable ~nergy technologies reviewed are: Bloenergy, Including ener· thouSolnd p.lg~ compRhenslve assessment compiltd by over 120 leading experts from oll1 gy crops; forleSt, agricultural and lI\'tstock II!:Sldues and so called s«ond gel\l!:ratlon bloover the world for IPees Working Group III fuels; Direct solar energy,lndudlng phoco"Wilh consIStent c h mal~ and energy policy volalcs ,lIld conttntratlng solar power; suppon. renewable energy sources can CODGeotht:rmaJ enelD buttfon h~olt eJltnetion tnbu~e substOlnUally (0 human \\'t1J-ht.lng by from the Eanh's Interior. Hydropower.lnclud· sustalnably supplying energy and slabillzing harness temperaruR diffe~nces in the ing run-of·rive:r,ln·stream or dam prolt'Cts th~dimate; sakllhe eo.chalr ofWorldng muine rtalm;Wind energy,lndudlng on· wilh resrrvolrs: Oc~n ~nerg}( ranging from Group 11I.I'rofessorOttmar Edenhofer, at the and offshore synems barrag~ to ocean rurrenlS and ones whkh ~pon launch. llowever, -the substantial OVer 160 ~xisting scientific scenarios on th~ ~Ulb le penetration of renewables by 2050. alongside environmental and social Implica· The findings, from over 120 researchers working wilh the tlons. have betn reviewed with four anaIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also indicate that the rising lyud In-deplh. These four wert chosen in order 10 r~pre5Cnt the full r.mgt:. Scenarios penetralion of renewable energies could lead to cumulative greenhouse are used 10 explore possible future worlds, a n.llyzlng altematl\'t; p,uhways of socio-Kogas savings equivalent to 220 10 560 Gigalonnes of carbon ~ioxid. nomic development and technological (GtC02eq) belween 2010 and 2050 . change.


lhe reSl'archers h.:we abosrudled lh~ challenges linked to how Rnewable energy can be Integraled Into existing and (uIUR energy sys. terns Including electricltr.grtds and likely COSt benefiu from these deve opm~nts. While the scenarios urlve olt a rangeof esti· males, the overall conduskms art lhal renewilbles willtolke an incruslng slice of Ihe energy m,uk<!. ry1{E most

optimislico( Ihe four, In-depth set'.1 llolriOS projectS renew.-.ble energy accoum· Ing (or as much as T1 percem of the world's energy demand by 2050, amoumlng to about )14 Or 407 Exa/oules perytar. As a comparison. )14 Ex.lloules S O\er thfte times the annual energy supply In lht! UnJ(ed Stales In 2005, which IS also ol slmllolr le....d of supply on the Comlnt!nl or Europe,Olccordlng to various gO\.'em mellt dnd Independent sources. SC\'t'nry-seven percent il up from JUSt underO perc.:.m ofille total pnmary energy supply or around "gO Exajoules In 2008, Each of the sctnarios IS underpinned by a rnnge of variables such as changes III energy e(flcrency, popuLa· tlon growth and per Cilpila consumption. TIltse lead to wrying levels of total primary energy supply In 2050, with the low~st of Ihe rour scenarios seelOg renewable ~nerg)' accoumlng for a shar~ or 15 pert"e.nt 102050, based on a lOtal primary energy supply of749 wjoules.. While the repon concludes that Ihe propor· tlon of renewable ~n~rgy will likely increase e\'en without enabhng policies, paSt expt'rienc~ has shown thaI th~ largtsllncreases: come with concened policy effons. Th~U h In some cases renewable en~rgy t«bnol es, according 10 expens. ar~ already econom c.allycompelflive, the r,roducoon COslS are eUITI!:mly often hlghert tan markel energy prices. However, if ellvtronmental impacl$such as emissions or poilu tams and greenhouse gases were monetized and Included In energy prices, mo~ rennvable energy technologies may become economically attractive.. For most of them, casu have d«lhltd ov~r the last dtCOldes and the authors expect signiriCant technical oldvanet.ments olOO funher COSI reductions In the future, resulting in a grealer polt!lltla l fordimatechange mitigation. Public policies that rKognlze anilll!flect the aJMT1tIJ(lI



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Significance Of Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions came fro m renewable energy. leading to lower additional costs The findings also noted that for renewable energy technolOgies. despite gl05al financial challenges, Public policymakers could draw renewable energy capacity grew in on a range of existing experience 2009 - wind by over 30 percent; in order to design and implement hydropower by 3 percent; grid<on- the most effective enabling poliCies nected photovoltaics by over 50 - there is no one-size-fits-a11 policy percent; geothermal by 4 percent; for encouraging renewables. solar water/ heating by over 20 perAs part of its potential, Bioenergy cent and ethanol and biodiesef technologies can generate electriciproduction rose by 10 percent and ty. heat and fuels from a range of 9 percent respectively. feedstocks. Some Bioenergy sysDeveloping countries, like te ms, including ones that involve Nigeria, host more than 50 percent converting land into agricultural of current global renewable energy biomass and energy crops, can gencapacity. erate more greenhouse gas emisMost of the reviewed scenarios, sions than they save. however, estimate that renewables But others, such as advanced conwill contribute more to a low carversion systems, which for example bon energy supply by 2050 than convert woody wastes into liquid nuclear power or foss il fuels using fuels, can deliver 80 percent to 90 carbon capture and storage (CCS). percent emission reductions comThe technical potential 01 renewpared to fossil fuels. able energy technolOgies exceeds Bioenergy; mainly for traditional the current global energy demand cooking and heating in developing by a considerable amount - global- countries, currently represents Ramon Plchs-Madruga ly and in respect of most regions of over 10 percent of global energy aI electricity generation reaches up the world. supply or ca. 50 Exajoules per year. to a third by 2050, but in the majoriUnder the scenarios a nalyzed inWhile the share ofbioe ner~ in ty of scenarios remains below one depth by the report, less than 2.5 the overall renewables mix IS likely tenth. percent of the globally available to decline over the coming Geothermal Ener~ utilizes heat technical potential for renewables decades, it could supply100 to 300 stored in the Earth s interior directly is used - in other wo rds over 97 Exajoules of energy by 2050, the or to generate electricity. with curpercent Is untapped, underlining expert review concludes. rently about 0.7 Exajoule per year. By that availability of renewable Youba Sokona source will not be a limiting factor. r:'ORDirect Solar Energy [echnolo- 2050, geothermal deployment could meet more than 3 percent of CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49 Accelerating the deployment of rgies, which Include photoglobal electricity demand and about renewable energies will present voltaics and Concentrating Solar 5 percent of the global heat wider economic, social and environnew tech nolOgical and institution- Power (CSP), they can produce elec- demand. mental benefits of renewable eneral challenges, in particular intetricity, heat and light Currently, Global geothermal technical potengies, including their potential to cut grating them into existing energy direct solar contributes only a frac- tial is comparable to the global pnair pollution and improve public supply systems and end use section of one percent to total global mary energy supply in 2008. health, will be key for meeti ng the tors. energy supply. However, Geothermal Energy does highest renewables deployment sceAccording to the four scenarios Potentiaf deployment scenarios not reach the technical potential narios. analyzed in detail, the decadal range from a marginal role of limit in any of the scenarios anaIncreasing the share of renewables global investments in the renewdirect solar energy in 2050 to one lyzed, with the deployment rate requires additional short-term and able power sector range from 1,360 of the major sources of energy sup- remaining below 5 percent for both long-term integration efforts. Studies to 5,100 billion US dollars to 2020 the regional and global level. clearly show that combining different and 1,490 to 7,180 billion US dollars ply. The actual deployment will depend on continued innovation, Hydropower projects encompass variable renewable sources, and for the decade 2021 to 2030. For the cost reductions and supportive dam projects with reservOirs, run-ofresources from large r geographical lower values, the ave rage yearly public policies. river a nd in-stream projects and areas, will be beneficial in smoothing investments are smaller than the In the most ambitious climate starange from small to large scale. The the va riability and decreasing overall renewable power sector investbilization scenarios solar primary installed capacity by the end of 2008 uncertainty for the power system. ments reported for 2009. energy supply by 2050 reaches up contributed 16 percent of worldwide There is a need for advanced techA combination of targeted public to 130 Exajoules per year, which can electricity supply, making nologies to optimize the in frastrucpolicies allied to research and be attributed to a large extent to hydropower me largest renewable ture capacity for renewables. ilevelopment investments could photovoltaic electricity generation. energy source in the electricity secAdditionally, there is a need for balreduce fuel and financing costs In some scenarios, its share iii globanCing supply and de mand, like advanced demand and supply forecasting and plant scheduling. The SRREN, approve-d by government representatives from 194 nations, includWhat is unique about this assessment is that the IPeC allows us to ing Nigeria, has reviewed the current penetration of six renewable energy techdraw on and bring together a broad nologies and their potential deployment over the coming decades. The six ~p.ectrum of experts on each of the technologies reviewed in collaborarenewable energy technologies reviewed are: Bioenergy, including energy crops; tion with scientists studying energy systems as a whole. It represents a sys· forest, agricultural and livestock residues and so called second generation biotemic, broad, impartial and state of knowledge repbrt on the present and fuels; Direct solar energy, including photovoltaics and concentrating solar future potential of a low carbon , power; Geothermal energy, based on heat extraction from the Earth's interior; more resource efficient energy path, says Professor Edenhofer. Hydropower, including run-of-river, in-stream or dam projects with reservoirs; Of the around 300 G ig~watts (GW) of Ocean energy, ranging from barrages to ocean currents and ones which harness new electricity generating capacity added globalfy between 2008 and temperature differences in the marine realm; Wind energy, including on- and off2009,140 GW, according to key findings from summary for policymakers, shore systems,


International cHmate officials and environmental specialists at the IPee meeling on Thursday

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According to long-term scenarios, hydropower's share in global electricity supply may decrease to 10 to 14 percent Despite absolute growth in hydropower supply, the expected energy demand growth and continuing electrification could result in a decreasing share. Ocean Energy technolOgies are diverse and use the kinetiC, thermal, and chemical energy of seawater. Most are at the demonstration and pilot project phases. Due to its nascent stage of development, they are unlikely to Significantly contribute to global energy supply before 2020. Ocean energy is currently only represented in very few scenarios. As shown by the review, projected deployments could resul t in energy delivery of up to 7 Exajoules per year by2050. Wind Energy's primary application of relevance to climate change mitigation is to produce electricity from large wind turbines located on land or offshore. The wind power capaci· ty installed by the end of 2009 met close to two percent of worldwide electricity demand. The review shows a high expansion rate in Europe, North America and, more recently, in China and India. A greater geographical distribution of deployment is likely to be needed to achieve the higher deployments indicated by the scenario li terature. Under the demand projection of some scenarios, global wind power share grows to more than 20 percent by 2050. The Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) assesses the potential contribution of renewable energy sources to climate change mitigation. Following the AR4, many governments as well as important actors in civil society and the private sector asked for more substantial information a nd broader coverage of all questions pertaining to the use of renewable energy The 25th Plenary Session of dle IPCC at Mauritius decided to hold a scoping meeting for a possi ble Special Report. Following the scoping meeting in LUbeck, Germany in January, 2008, IPCC Plenary in • Budapest in April, 2008 decided to prepare an IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) and agreed on its oudine.

THE GUARDIAN, 15 MAY, 2011  

Climate Change: Panel Outlines Potential Of Renewable Energy

THE GUARDIAN, 15 MAY, 2011  

Climate Change: Panel Outlines Potential Of Renewable Energy