Welcome to the 12th issue of the International Energy Initiative (IEI) newsletter.
This issue brings at first hand for our readers an interview with three IEI Board Members who wrote the world acclaimed book Energy for a Sustainable World, which now completes 20 years of publication. The book had a strong impact on the energy thinking by that time.
Enjoy your reading!
The paradigmatic and widely acclaimed book Energy for a Sustainable World (Wiley Eastern Limited, 1988) completes 20 years of publication. The book was authored by the founders of the International Energy Initiative, Professors Jose Goldemberg, Thomas Johansson, Amulya Reddy (in memoriam) and Robert Williams.
The Newsletter interviewed its authors to give their impressions after 20 years of the book publication.
At the time the book was published, thinking about energy was dominated by a supply-oriented paradigm, with economic development equated to economic growth, in turn equated to centralized power production.
Energy for Sustainable World marked a major departure from this paradigm, dominant at the time. The most important finding was that it is possible to formulate energy strategies which are not only compatible with, but even contribute to, the solution of other major global problems…
The formulation of such energy strategies (requires) shifting the focus of energy analysis from the traditional preoccupation with energy supplies to the end-uses of energy. In this end-use approach, much closer attention is paid to… human needs served by energy, the technical and economic details of how energy is being used and alternative technological options for providing the (needed) energy services.
The concept of sustainable development has since become well entrenched, initially through the Brundtland Report (Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, 1987), and later through the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro). Many international organizations and governments have also now embraced sustainable energy policies.
Jose Goldemberg – The data used in the book is of course somewhat outdated but the general principles and main ideas are not only valid but influenced greatly the development of the energy area in the last 20 years. Just to give one example, renewables made a marginal contribution to the energy supply 20 years ago. Today governments are seriously engaged in promoting them. More than 40 countries have mandates to introduce renewables in their energy matrix by 2010 and 2020.
Thomas Johansson – The analysis presented in ESW is still relevant when it comes to major concepts and approaches, however, the main development over the last 20 years has been that the thinking of ESW by and large has been adopted in the world, as illustrated by the energy agreements at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and other international fora, therefore becoming mainstream thinking among scholars, energy institutions, policymakers and the general public.
Energy is now seen as an instrument for socio-economic development, to be approached through policy design to simultaneously meet objectives related to economic and population growth, poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation, energy security, other environmental issues, and more. The foundation for this approach was presented in ESW.
Robert Williams – The main ideas are as relevant today as when the book was published. One major technological option for mitigating climate change not explored in the book is carbon capture and storage-which has attracted wide attention since the publication in 2005 of the Special Report on CO2 Capture and Storage by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Jose Goldemberg – Energy services is what people are interested and not energy supply "per se". Using energy more efficiently is essential.
A sustainable energy future has to rely on renewable energy sources.
As developing countries grow and develop they should incorporate early in their process of development modern and efficient technologies, thus "leapfrogging" wasteful steps followed in the past by today's industrialized countries.
Thomas Johansson – The integrated perspective on energy system development as critical for achieving broader societal objectives, as mentioned in the preceding answer.
The emphasis on the energy end-use sector and the large opportunities offered by energy efficiency improvements to be used in such an overall approach.
And the emphasis on energy options that contribute to addressing many societal challenges simultaneously, especially energy end-use efficiency and renewable energies.
Robert Williams – The single most important contribution of ESW was to establish the importance of pursuing, via appropriate public policies, energy strategies that are consistent with the solutions to other major societal problems including environmental and security challenges, poverty and social inequalities, and eroding self-reliance-in short, the pursuit of energy strategies consistent with sustainable development.
Another important contribution was ESW's stressing the satisfaction of the basic energy needs of the poorest elements in society in the pursuit of sustainable development goals.
And finally ESW's emphasis on improved energy technologies – including those offering "technological leapfrogging" opportunities for developing countries – in addressing sustainable development challenges was a major contribution.
This issue is comprised of two special sections: (1) wind energy; and (2) energy efficiency.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency comprise the backbone of sustainable energy paths. While renewable energy technologies have difficulties in competing with conventional options, there is a vast range of energy efficiency options that are less expensive than energy supply. Despite the obvious advantages of energy efficiency, it continues to get inadequate attention in academic work, and our journal is no exception. We had originally hoped to make this a special issue on energy efficiency, but we had a very limited offering of viable papers.
Biofuels are much in vogue in recent years and perhaps even more so in recent months. One responsibility of Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD) is to make sure that it can make a substantive contribution to the subject, through (1) the analysis of experience, successful or otherwise; (2) surveys shedding light on critical issues; (3) reviews of conversion technologies that are particularly promising; etc
The first three papers in this issue are examples of each of the three categories listed above. Two short articles also deal with biofuels.
The remaining papers are also on renewable energy, two on photovoltaics and one on wind energy.
IEI would also like to invite you to subscribe to the Journal Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD), which is unique among energy journals for its focus on efficient energy production and use in developing countries.
The one-year demonstration project of the operation of a village-based energy enterprise in India, carried out by the IEI's regional initiative for Asia (Bangalore, India), is completed.
The goal of this project is to demonstrate a case of IEI-Asia energy-development enterprise model, where rural energy services can be sustainably improved through integration with income and employment generation.
IEI-Asia is demonstrating this model in a village (Chikkana Devara hatti) in Karnataka state. A dairy has been established there to provide income and employment to the village folk and simultaneously to fuel the generation of biogas, a clean and efficient fuel, to be supplied to all homes for cooking. Establishing the dairy has involved construction of cattle-housing, office and water-supply facilities, purchase of cattle, and training of the local staff for the daily tasks. For efficient distribution of biogas, eight biogas plants have been constructed, each connected by pipelines to the closest cluster of homes around it. The households, earlier dependent on traditional stoves fuelled with collected biomass, have been provided with biogas stoves.
Click here to see some pictures.
This project is being supported chiefly by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany (through its third round of Sustainable Energy Project Support). It is intended that the lessons learnt from this experience are used in drawing up other examples of energy-development integration for larger-scale replication.
The Latin American Office of IEI provided a two-day course last year on CDM focused on energy efficiency for a local power distribution utility (CPFL).
The aim was to give an overview of the CDM project activity project cycle and then specifically on energy efficiency projects. An introductory overview on global warming issues, on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and on the Kyoto Protocol was given.
Based on a shared opinion on the importance of developing sustainable energy solutions as a contribution to, and basis for, social and economic development, the project partnership is financially supported by Fredskorpset, a Norwegian governmental agency, since February 2003.
The IEI's Latin American office (IEI-LA) finished a three-month study aimed to explore energy technological trends for the period 2030- 2050.
Brazil faces a big challenge for the next decades to seek for solutions to meet the increasing energy services requirements and at the same time meet the criteria of cost-effectiveness, security of supply, public health, universal access and environmental sustainability. To meet these criteria significative R&D efforts should be immediately initiated to meet the energy demand predicted to 2030-2050.
The objective of the study was to carry out a literature review of the state of the art of the main energy technologies for the period of 2030-2050 through a wide national and international recent literature. The trends in energy consumption evolution and the energy sector challenges and opportunities in areas of public interest were also analyzed.
The study was commissioned by CGEE (Center for Strategic Studies and Management Science, Technology and Innovation), which is a not for profit institution launched in 2001 and qualified as a Social Organization by the Brazilian Federal Government in 2002. As such, CGEE can use public funds to develop its activities aiming to answer specific society demands on ST&I. Most of these activities are established via contracts with the Federal Administration under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The IEI Latin American office (IEI-LA) is organizing the Workshop Energy Efficiency in Industry: contributions from Latin American countries for the Global Energy Assessment (GEA) to be held in Campinas (Sao Paulo, Brazil) on 19th August 2008.
The IEI-LA Director, Gilberto Jannuzzi, is one of the Lead Authors for the knowledge Module on End Use Efficiency in Industry. He will be in charge of analysing the potential for energy efficiency and Demand Side Management in the industrial sector for Brazil and Latin America.
The Global Energy Assessment (GEA) is a major initiative established by IIASA (The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) in late 2005 to help decision makers address the challenges of providing energy services for sustainable development, whilst ameliorating existing and emerging threats associated with: security of supply; access to modern forms of energy for development and poverty alleviation; local, regional and global environmental impacts; and securing sufficient investment.
The GEA is expected to be completed by 2010.
We experience our world through our five senses. If we diminish one of them we also diminish our quality of life.
This video presents the main findings of a study which found out that Mexico City residents can't detect subtle smells as well as residents of neighboring Tlaxcala, though the regions are quite similar in both culture and climate. The primary difference: Mexico City has much higher levels of air pollution. The study was carried out by researchers at Mexico's National University (UNAM).
These findings also make us extend the issue to indoor air pollution, wondering about the extent of these effects inside poor households where the air pollution levels are much higher due to the use of traditional fuels for cooking and heating.
This section provides news and information about relevant initiatives regarding the progress of sustainable energy efforts from the developing world. IEI is currently establishing a network of contact persons for dissemination of relevant sustainable energy news. This is a great opportunity to make projects from various parts of the world known. Please let us know if you are interested in being such a contact person. We will be happy to acknowledge names of all contributors in the newsletter.
Water for Energy and Energy for Water
WISIONS presents good practice projects dealing with water and energy in Guatemala, Peru, Tunisia,the Philippines and Tanzania that have been successfully implemented, with the intention of further promoting the particular approaches used by these projects. Short descriptions of these and additional good practice projects are available here. This issue is the 12th and final PREP brochure. All existing PREP brochures will remain available online here.
Working Paper – Market Barriers to Clean Cooking Fuels in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Literature
Nicolai Schlag and Fiona Zuzarte of the Stockolm Environmental Institute assess the full range of modern-fuel alternatives, and discusses the main market barriers – which are economic, social and political – to their uptake. Download here.
South Africa: First Wind Farm Opens in Western Cape
The first wind farm in South Africa, which produces electricity from wind power, was switched on by minerals and energy minister, Buyelwa Sonjica in the Western Cape. It is the first 'green energy' initiative in the country to produce electricity from a renewable technology for commercial basis. The wind farm has four wind turbines with a total installed capacity of about 52 MW. All the electricity produced will be sold to the city of Cape Town as part of a long term power purchase agreement. More.
Upcoming Energy Events in Africa
Upcoming events in Africa can be accessed here.
Kenya: Rural Areas Investing in Renewable Energy
The United Nations International Development Organization (UNIDO) has set aside US$ 5 million for lighting up 100 villages in rural Kenya. The money is part of the body's renewable energy programme which aims to provide 1,000 villages in the country with power derived from solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal sources. It is hoped that the free projects will help reduce the number of rural Kenyans still relying on non renewable energy resources like charcoal. More.
Uganda: Makerere Starts Course In Renewable Energy
A new programme, Master of Science in Renewable Energy, has been introduced at Makerere University Faculty of Technology. Students can specialise in any of the five areas of renewable energy. The programme is meant to build the required local capacity to look into the development of available renewable energy options, thus reducing rampant environmental degradation due to over dependence on fossil fuels. More.
The Potential for Small and Medium Scale Renewables in Poverty Reduction in Africa
This report presents the findings of a study on the role of small and medium-scale renewables in poverty reduction, environmental stability, gender and economic development. The Executive Summary and a summary of the key findings of the study can be accessed here.
Recent energy policy in The Philippines
The Philippine Energy Plan has set as a goal to reach an energy self sufficiency level of 60% by 2010 and beyond. And one of the strategies to reach such goal was set by the Renewable Energy Policy Framework, whose objective, among other things, is to double the renewable energy-based generating capacity within the next ten years. The energy sources that will lead a role in power generation will be biomass, solar and wind. The Philippine Energy Plan is focused on its primary goal of energy independence and power market reforms.
The Brazilian Biofuel Program
The Brazilian government, through its Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), intends to invest heavily in the coming years to ramp up the production and supply of biofuels, for the national and international markets. In December 2004, the National Program for Production and Use of Biodiesel (PNPB) was launched, from any oilseed source, privileging family farming and encouraging the formation of cooperatives and producers' consortiums for biodiesel production. Under this program, the addition of 2% biodiesel to petroleum diesel was initially authorized, with this admixture becoming mandatory at progressively higher percentages over. PETROBRAS in its 2008-2012 Business Plan intends to invest US$ 1.5 billion in biofuel business and act globally in biofuel commercialization and logistics, leading national biodiesel production and expanding its presence in the ethanol business.
WWEC2008 Community Power: Conference Resolution
The 7th World Wind Energy Conference (Community Power: Energy Autonomy for Local Economies), was held in Kingston (Ontario), Canada, 24-26 June 2008. Click here to read the Conference Resolution.
Contact Persons List
Carlos Jacome, UNDP Consultant for the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Equador)