Sustainable transformation in the Energy Sector
Currently, the world energy sector is disordered because of different and often confusing drivers and reasons: Increasing energy demand from developing economy countries, the global economic crisis, climate change policies and many more. More than ever, now the industry needs to adjust to fulfil these changing energy needs. The ascending prosperity urges an increase in global energy demand, however the degree of this growth is considerably offset by fast gains in energy efficiency: Energy requirement increases by only almost 30 percent. Favourable technological alternatives integrated with current resources could actually fulfil the increasing demand for energy services in environmentally and publically acceptable ways, provided supportive policy environment. Design of energy use vary greatly, in ways that indicate and boost social and economic inequities. In industrialised countries, for example, primary energy per capita is on average 6 times bigger than in the developing countries. Extreme poverty along with poor health standards, is worsened by the distinctly inefficient use of biomass fuels and conventional energy technologies which are ubiquitous in the developing world. Conventional, non-commercial biomass fuels represent almost 90 percent of energy use in various low-income developing countries. There is a much more requirement of the energy for the growth in the world economy. However, the degree of the increment is mitigated by falls in energy intensity: Global Gross Domestic Product gets double whereas the energy requirement increases only by 20 percent. Practically, most of the growth in the world energy demand arrives from the fast-growing emerging economies such as India and China, with both accounting for more than half of the increase. China is anticipated to be the largest growth market with respect to energy and it’s likely to be passed by India within the next years. The global economy is rising at an average rate of 3.4 percent per year with a humongous population that will increase from 7.4 billion as of now to more than 9 billion people in 2040 and a procedure of urbanisation increases a city which is the size of Shanghai to the world’s urban population in every four months, these are the key forces that support us
projections. The biggest contribution of energy demand growth comes from India which is 30 percent, where the global energy share will rise to 11 percent by the year 2040. There is another rising giant in the global energy which is the southeast Asia which has a requirement of energy growing at twice the speed of China. Altogether in Asia, the developing countries reports for two third of the global energy growth, and the rest of the energy demand is coming significantly from the middle east, Africa and the Latin America. The problems related to the energy in the developing countries are both very serious and widespread. Absence of access to sufficient and continuous supply of energy affects many people as much as 90 percent of the whole population of most of the developing countries. More than two billion people are living without electricity and a good similar number of people are still dependent on the fuels such as wood, animal dung, charcoal, and crop residues to prepare their daily meal. In the absence of efficient, clean energy, people in these developing countries are eroded in their attempts to engage efficiently in the productive activities or to upgrade their quality of life. Currently, these developing countries are facing two very crucial problems and some of them are related to the energy sector. The first problem is the extensive inefficient production and the use of conventional energy sources such as wood, fuel and other agricultural residues, which causes urgent economic, health and environmental threats. The second problem possessed by these developing countries is the highly distribution and usage of the modern energy sources for example petroleum products, electricity, and liquefied or compressed natural gas which produces important issues of equity, economics and quality of life. Such approaches ideally improve access to energy for rural and poor people by revising energy pricing and by making the first costs of the transition to modern and more sustainable uses of energy more affordable. To tackle these urgent problems, the governments of these developing countries should support market oriented approaches that make the energy market equivalently accessible and appealing to the local investors, consumers and the communities. Conventional usage of wood, fossil fuels and other form of biomass are the crucial contributors to this serious environmental and health problems and energy supply security which threatens the sustainable future:
a. Particulate matter and several other pollutions from the usage of energy erodes human health at the household and local level. The burning of the solid fuels in a very poorly ventilated spaces are one of major remarkable causes of unhealthy state of mind and death of several women and children all around the developing world.
b. On a bigger scale, the impacts of a host of energy-linked emissions- which includes suspended fine particles and predecessor of acid deposition- also contributes to the pollution of the air and the ecosystem degradation.
c. Globally speaking, the weather patterns are being altered by the emissions of anthropogenic green house gases, mostly from the production and usage of the fossil fuels. Current regional change in climate, particularly the increment in the temperature, have already impacted terrestrial, hydrological and marine ecosystems in various parts of the world.
In most of the least developed countries, the percentage foreign exchange earning is consumed by the energy imports, which hampers economic development. The feasible technical alternatives for growing energy services while decreasing their damaging side effects include:
a. Extra efficient usage of energy, especially at the point of end-use in electric appliances, buildings, production processes and vehicles.
b. Increased dependency on the renewable energy sources.
c. Fast development and lining-up of new energy technologies, especially next generation fossil fuel technologies which gives out almost no injurious emissions into the atmosphere- but also some nuclear technologies, if the difficulty related to the nuclear energy can be rectified.
Fast placement of the solar photovoltaics (PV), led by china and India has helped solar power to become the largest source of low carbon capacity by 2040, by that time, the overall share of the renewable energy sources will reach up to 40 percent. In the European Union, the renewable energy usage and production accounts for almost 80 percent of the new capacity and making the wind power the leading source of electricity production soon after 2030, because of the fast and strong growth on both the onshore and the offshore part.
The policies for the renewables have continued to assist the electricity globally, increasing through ambitious auctions rather than feed-in tariffs and the modification of the power sector is boosted by millions of communities, households and businesses which are investing directly in the distributed PV solar technologies. The growth and the development of renewable energy technologies are confined to the power sector. Globally, the straight use of energy from renewables to supply heat and mobility also got doubled, albeit from a low base. In brazil itself, the final energy consumption has increased the share of direct and indirect renewables use from 39 percent to 45 percent in 2040, which when compared with a global progression from 9 percent to 16 percent over the similar time period. Electric cars are also very significant in terms of getting on to the usage of just renewable energies and avoiding the fossil fuel consumption, but decarbonising the transport sector also needs much more strong efficient measures across the board, particularly for the road freight. ‘Renewable energy technology’ and its ‘efficiency’ are the crucial mechanisms which will drive forward the low carbon transition and will reduce the pollutant emissions. Observing the connection between them and the aligning policy along with the market frameworks- particularly in the residential sector, is crucial to make sure the cost-efficient outcomes. The distribution of extremely efficient appliances, together with the decentralised renewables, also plays a vital role in increasing the full access to electricity and clean cooking, especially in the village communities and isolated settlements that are pretty difficult to reach with the grids. Global energy scenarios indicate that the amalgamation of these techniques and approaches can serve the energy demands of the increasing world population (Expected to reach 10 billion) along with meeting the sustainability issues and with least capital investment than suggested by current trends. Certainly, developing the efficient energy technologies appears to present less of challenge than mustering the political will & expanding the human capacity to engage them effectively. For such cases, changes are required in the policies associated with energy for sustainable development. As a matter of fact, all these scenarios can possibly be applied only when there is a change in the policy environment. The new policies are required to be designed and applied in a wide context of overall world development. For achieving the sustainable development aims, new capacities are required within the fast changing energy public sector along with the changes in the private sector. The private sector does not only include industries and businesses which invest their capital in the energy production and uses energy services, but also equipment manufacturer and credit institutions. To develop these new capacities is not totally the responsibility of the public sector. There will be an urgent requirement for the public-private partnerships on capacity development especially with respect to the introduction of an efficient, clean and new energy technologies, also in the markets of developing countries. Public-private sector collaboration and linkages for enhancement of capacity building should be developed and supported, but the stakeholder’s groups are usually pretty much disconnected in the developing world. Capacity development can be recognised as the procedure of mobilising, creating, utilising, enhancing or upgrading, creating and converting expertise, institutions and contexts to attain particular desired socio economic results, in this scenario, in safe guarding the usage of energy as an instrument for the sustainable development. Capacity development should be attained through the individual, institutional and systematic level activities. The efforts in building the capacity at all these levels are the main part of the capacity building development process. The energy challenges at the rural level need much more attention to build capacity if social goals and equity aims are to be met. Several clean energy technologies, especially the ones which are concerning the extending fossil fuel use, are not on track nowadays, to encounter the challenge of making an affordable energy system that expresses the climate change issues. This creates a realistic possible future of a system with clean energy that will address the climate change. The instructions for such a system are, apart from a continuous emphasis required on energy efficiency, will be like a smooth shift to power generation from renewable technologies and at the similar time a fast electrification of the energy usage.