Wind Power Growth in Emerging Markets Set for Double Digit Rise

by Joshua S Hill

Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets. Navigant research predicts that many established markets will experience flat or single-digit wind power growth over the next few years, while the average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for wind markets in 10 'Emerging economy' nations -- from 2013 to 2023 -- will be 21.9%.
Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets. Navigant research predicts that many established markets will experience flat or single-digit wind power growth over the next few years, while the average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for wind markets in 10 ‘Emerging economy’ nations — from 2013 to 2023 — will be 21.9%. Pilot Wind Farm in South Africa. warrenski/Flickr

New research from Navigant research predicts that demand for renewable energy in Africa and the former Soviet Union, as well as across the developed world, will see wind power experience fastest growth in emerging markets.

Several factors are hampering the growth of the market across the developed world, including austerity measures in a number of European countries, and a boom-and-bust cycle in the United States. These halts come at the same time that the emerging world are looking for technologies able to generate enough energy to support their burgeoning populations while at the same time creating less of an environmental impact than traditional generation techniques.

“Amidst the slowdown in the established markets, the demand for wind power in certain emerging markets will make these regions critical to the global wind market,” says Feng Zhao, research director with Navigant Research.

“The opportunities arising in these underserved regions will not only help reduce the exposure of wind turbine manufacturers to ups and downs in the mainstream wind power markets, but will also hold the key for current leading turbine suppliers to maintain their leadership in the future.”

Navigant’s research predicts that many established markets will experience flat or single-digit growth over the next few years, while the average compound annual growth rate for a chosen set of 10 emerging wind markets in Africa and the former Soviet Union from 2013 to 2023 will be 21.9%.

The 10 countries in question are South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan. A summary of the report can be found on the Navigant Research website.

The emerging world is probably the most likely to benefit most from renewable energies like wind. Russia is the world’s largest country by area, and approximately two-thirds of the country’s hinterland is unreachable by centralised power grids, which means that isolated communities must rely on expensive fuel for power generation. Over time, situations like this will likely be remedied by the spread of wind and solar power, allowing individual communities to find environmentally friendly and economically healthy means to generate their own power.

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This article, Wind Power Growth To Sharpen In Emerging Markets, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Renewable Energy Joshua S HillJoshua S Hill I’m a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we’re pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.

‘Win-Win’ Megatons to Megawatts program concluded

by Guest Contributor Cliff Majersik

Megatons to Megawatts program
“All’s well that ends well.” 500 metric tons of Russian weapons grade uranium (uranium that is enriched to 20% or higher, is called highly-enriched uranium, weapons grade uranium, or in simple terms,  plutonium — and is for use in nuclear bombs) and was purchased by the United States beginning in 1993. Since that time, U.S. nuclear power plants worked to process it into 5% uranium (low-enriched) in order to be able to use it as fuel for U.S. nuclear reactors. The program cost the U.S. $13 billion dollars, but dramatically lowered the total weapons grade uranium stockpiles in Russia. Since 1993, about a third of all U.S. nuclear power plant output was powered by this high-quality Russian nuclear fuel.
Megatons to Megawatts was a great energy fix for its era. For ours, it’s energy efficiency.

This is a guest post by Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation

In 1993, the United States and the Russian Federation signed an agreement to convert 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium from Russian warheads into low-enriched uranium that could fuel U.S. nuclear reactors. The Megatons to Megawatts program was born. For 20 years, Megatons to Megawatts provided much of the low-enriched uranium that U.S. nuclear reactors needed—about one-third of it. And when you consider that nuclear plants supply about a fifth of the country’s electricity, well, that’s a lot of our meals cooked and homes heated by fuel from 20,000 former bombs. Meanwhile, the Russian economy got a $13 billion boost over two decades.

But all good things must come to an end, and Megatons to Megawatts is expiring. On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the New York Times reports, the last shipment of uranium from the program will arrive at the Port of Baltimore.

Looking forward, there is one great source to fill the fuel gap: energy efficiency. Inarguably, the cleanest kilowatt hour is the one you don’t consume. Energy efficiency has the potential to save far more energy than Megatons for Megawatts generated. In fact, John A. Laitner, a researcher at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), has found that since 1970, energy efficiency has met 75 percent of new energy service demands in the U.S.

Likewise, well-known research by McKinsey in 2009 showed that the U.S. economy has the potential to cut annual, non-transportation energy consumption by roughly 23 percent by 2020, eliminating more than $1.2 trillion in energy waste—more than double the upfront investment cost required. This reduction in energy use would avoid 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse-gas emissions every year, the equivalent of taking the entire fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off America’s roads.

Energy efficiency will help us avoid the emissions that worsen climate change, but it can also help us adapt better to the changes we’re already seeing. An energy-efficient building is a stronger and more resilient building.

Last year, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for millions up and down the Eastern seaboard. Days after Sandy hit, cold temperatures worsened victims’ misery; officials in New York City set up warming shelters and handed out blankets to shivering residents. In an extended power outage like that one, a home that’s built to a high standard of efficiency (that is, it’s airtight and well insulated) will be more habitable, with an indoor temperature less affected by a cold snap or heat wave.

Cities around the country are moving to make their buildings more resilient, and energy efficiency will be a crucial component of their disaster-readiness. Efficiency also has major benefits at the scale of the neighborhood and region, not just for individual buildings. By reducing peak consumption, it lessens the strain on the electricity grid and helps prevent future blackouts.

Megatons to Megawatts was the ideal program for its era, finding an unexpected energy source in nuclear disarmament after the fall of the Soviet Union. In a new era that’s characterized by dwindling resources, climatic uncertainty, and the urgent need to reduce emissions, the best energy source is clear: energy efficiency.

Cliff Majersik is executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC, that promotes energy efficiency in buildings. Under his leadership, IMT has expanded its work nationally and internationally and become a recognized leader in the energy efficiency field.

Majersik oversees IMT’s principal activities to advance energy efficiency in the built environment, including in the areas of building energy performance policy, energy codes, and energy efficiency finance. His work helped lead to the introduction of federal legislation in 2011 to account for energy efficiency in mortgage underwriting, and he helped craft the innovative building energy benchmarking and disclosure laws in the District of Columbia and New York City.

This article, Goodbye Megatons to Megawatts. Hello, Energy Efficiency, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Important Media Group

Guest Contributor is many, many people all at once. In other words, we publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people. 😀

G20 Leaders Agree To Phase Out Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies

by Zachary Shahan – Special to JBS News

Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month's G-20 summit. Image Credit: Government of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month’s G-20 summit.Image Credit: Government of Russia

Earlier this month, G20 leaders meeting in St Petersburg, Russia decided to phase out the use of HFCs. This got a lot of attention (at least among green media), and rightfully so. However, another big decision made in St Petersburg seems to have bypassed most radars. The G20 leaders also agreed to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. Such a move would cut approximately $500 billion in annual governmental expenditures while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions (compared to business-as-usual emission projections) 10% by 2050.

Environment News Service, on the day of the meeting (September 20), wrote:

All the G-20 leaders agreed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Building on the commitment they made at the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit in 2009 to phase out these subsides, G-20 Leaders today agreed on the methodology for a new peer-review process of fossil fuel subsidies, an important step in combating climate change.

The International Energy Agency estimates that eliminating subsidies – which amount to more than $500 billion annually – would lead to a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below business-as-usual by 2050.

As part of the St. Petersburg Declaration released today at the close of the summit, the G-20 leaders stated;

“We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption over the medium term while being conscious of necessity to provide targeted support for the poorest.”

“We welcome the development of a methodology for a voluntary peer review process and the initiation of country-owned peer reviews and we encourage broad voluntary participation in reviews as a valuable means of enhanced transparency and accountability. We ask Finance Ministers to report back by the next Summit on outcomes from the first rounds of voluntary peer reviews. Recognising the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services, we ask Finance Ministers to consider, in conjunction with the relevant international institutions, policy options for designing transitional policies including strengthening social safety nets to ensure access for the most vulnerable.”

Now, personally, I’d consider all fossil fuel subsidies to be inefficient, but I’m guessing that G20 leaders have some fossil fuel subsidies in mind that they would consider efficient. Otherwise, why the dubious language?

Also, I imagine they aren’t going to include externalities – even though they should — and I’m not seeing a timeline for the phase-out. I assume that isn’t yet set.

We’ll see what comes of all this, but it looks like a step in the right direction.

h/t Green Car Reports

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This article, G20 Leaders Agree To Phase Out “Inefficient” Fossil Fuel Subsidies, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

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20th Century Thinkers in the 21st Century

by John Brian Shannon

Many people in this 21st century would be surprised to hear they are deeply immersed (and some would say, horribly stuck) in 20th century thought, a century where for ninety of those hundred years, the endless game of nation-state vs. nation-state was played, and often played with brutality. Nation against nation, democracy competing with communism and authoritarianism, freedom vs. repression and ‘the West’ against ‘the East’, or occasionally, ‘North’ against ‘South’ — these were the headlines of a turbulent century.

All these battles were fought diligently, usually for valid reasons (but not always) by nation-states, their citizens, and soldiers, all over the world from about 1914 onwards.

In terms of the success against such social ills as world war, small hot wars, the Cold War, fascism, tribal wars, poor governance and even poorer economics, plus a low global standard of health care, we have come far in the past 100 years.

The problem is, some just don’t realize how far we have come and are still ‘fighting the last war’ to use a military euphemism.

The last war is well and truly over. Unfortunately, some have utterly missed that, profound as it is.

Illogically, many of these people are still holding positions of power, many of them from the baby-boom generation, that for now at least, continue to call the shots for the rest of the world.

A world of change has occurred, and yet many of those holding either political office or powerful unelected positions are completely blind to it, as their hatred for their former enemies burns so bright.

In the West, for just one example, most citizens are pleased that Vladimir Putin is running Russia. We all know that Russia is experiencing the problems associated with a former Soviet-era economy, but that they are recovering nicely from it. We also know that they are dealing with incredibly rapid economic growth – which is a great problem to have! If your country must have a major problem to deal with, that’s the one to have.

And many people in the West and around the world, socialize with Russians every day, online, in the workplace or at universities around the world. Everyone is getting along just fine, thank you.

Спасибо, очень понравилось! (Which is Russian for, “Thank you, very much!”)

But are Western political office holders or powerful unelected leaders happy about any of that? For the most part, NOT! And therein, lies a tantalizing clue about what ails the geopolitical world in this century.

The people in (elected and unelected) positions of power in the West today are the same generation that taught us to fear, hate, and fight, the Soviet Union at all costs (one of those costs being lessened Western civil liberties from the onset of the Cold War right up to the present day) — and the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists and communism in modern-day Russia is about as important as it is here (it’s not) does not decrease their deeply-held hatred of our former enemy.

The better the Russian economy does, the more they hate Russia. The more Russian citizens smile on TV, the more they castigate Vlad Putin. As Russia became the 13th most powerful economy in the world, some in the West were tearing their hair out. Russia is on-track to become the 10th most powerful economy in the world within the next decade. Can’t wait to see the contorted faces then!

And it is getting increasingly difficult for certain Western news outlets to show recent pictures or videos taken in and around Moscow, without the many Mercedes Benz and BMW cars and SUV’s driven by ordinary Russian citizens ‘crapping up the frame’ – thereby contradicting the verbal op/ed piece.

No! All those Mercedes and BMW’s are NOT driven by “filthy rich Russian oligarchs with ‘dirty money’ or high ranking KGB officers that hate Fox News… er… America.”

That was LAST century.

The real story, in case you missed it, is that it is no longer about nation-state against nation-state (although, some people are desperately trying to make it ‘still that’), nor is it even, democracy against practically all other forms of government (although, some people are desperately trying to make it ‘still that’), nor is about some well-intentioned fight against horrible social ills such as apartheid, which is mostly won at this point (although, some people are desperately trying to make it ‘still that’).

What it is about, is that 98% of the world’s citizens want their governments to stop fighting the last war, to cease with the old hatreds and prejudices and get on with clearing a path for citizens, so that they can progress — financially, socially, and for those who want it, spiritually.

Feudalism was replaced with something better (from the point-of-view of 98% of the world population back in the day) which manifested itself as freedom and democracy in half the world, while the other half endured communism, which was still a lot better than feudalism, for most citizens. The governance systems in use in the 21st century are mostly democratic ones — and the ones that aren’t, are reforming at different speeds towards democracy anyway — whether we bomb them or not.

Our representative governments must begin to focus on what democracy was originally created to achieve. Can anyone even remember what this was, this far out from democracy’s beginnings? In general terms, it was to bring freedom, the rule of law, education, economic prosperity, and the pursuit of pleasure to the vast majority of citizens (the 98%) living within that voluntary state of governance.

But truth be told at this point, citizens around the world would settle for this generation of powerful elected and unelected people stuck in their 20th century mindsets, just getting out of citizens’ way and letting individuals and families solve their own issues and get to their goals, themselves. A new generation will soon take the reins.

In the meantime, try not to blow up the world with your 20th century thinking. Thanks.

Signed, the 98 percent.

JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

To follow John Brian Shannon on social media – place a check-mark beside your choice of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn: FullyFollowMe/johnbrianshannon

Who Are The Big 5 In The Carbon Trade?

Originally published on Shrink That Footprint by Lindsay Wilson

When we talk about a country’s carbon emissions we generally only consider those that occur within its borders. But where does the fuel for those emissions come from? And where do the products a country makes go?

In this second part of our series The Carbon Trade we look at who the big traders of carbon are. We’ll analyze the major importers and exporters of fuels and products and in doing so explain much of how carbon moves around the world, both before and after its combustion.

Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.
Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.

The Regions Fueling the World

In the first piece of this series, The Globalization of Carbon, we noted that in 2007 traded carbon totaled 17.6 Gt CO2, or 60% of total carbon emissions. More than half of this traded carbon was in the form of fuels, in particular oil and gas.

The big exporters of fuel carbon are those regions and countries that produce more fossil fuels than they use at home.

Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.
Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.

The big five fuel exporters are the Middle East, Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Australia. Together these five regions export 63% of carbon in traded fuels.

Indeed they are each so rich in fossil fuels in the form of oil, natural gas and coal that each of them export more carbon in fuels than they create through combusting fuels within their borders.

Each tonne of oil, natural gas or coal that is exported by these regions is imported somewhere else. So let’s see where they go.

Living On Foreign Fuel

It is widely known that the US is dependent on foreign oil, so much so they banned crude exports back in the seventies oil shocks. But the US isn’t the only region living off fossil fuels from other regions.

This fact is plain to see when we look at who the big importers of carbon in fuels are.

Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.
Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.

When taken together the countries that make up Europe (EU27) import more carbon in the form of fuels than the US. These two regions are the big fuel importers followed by Japan, China and South Korea, based on 2007 data.

Together these five regions import a staggering 71% of all carbon traded as fuels.

China is the World’s Factory

Now that we have seen how carbon is traded before it’s combusted, it is worth looking a how it is embodied in the trade of products after its combustion. For clarity’s sake products in this case means both goods and services though the former dominates.

In the last two decades exports of Chinese made products have exploded, driven on by cheap labour, capital controls and government subsidies. This phenomenon is plain to see in the data for carbon in exported products.’

Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.
Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.

In 2007 the carbon embodied in China’s exports of goods and services totalled 1,556 Mt CO2. About the same as the exports of the United States, Europe and Russia combined.

Although these five regions accounted for a healthy 58% of the trade of carbon embodied in products it is as a general rule less centralized than is the case for fuels.

Europe and the US Buy the World’s Stuff

If China is the big exporter of carbon embodied in products it will surprise few that the US and Europe are the big buyers.

Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.
Image courtesy of Shrink That Footprint.

In 2007 there was 1,514 Mt of carbon dioxide emissions embodied in European imports of goods and services, a quarter of which came from China. The US was the other major importer, followed by Japan, China and the Middle East.

The fact that so much European and American consumption is supported by emissions that occur in other parts of the world highlights the perils of focusing solely on terrestrial emissions for climate policy. The increased outsourcing of carbon intensive production to regions with weaker climate regulation risks undermining the effectiveness of national climate policies.

Such risks also exist regarding carbon in fuels. If factors reducing terrestrial emissions result in increased exports of fuels this can undermine the effectiveness of national action. The more than doubling of US coal exports since 2006 in reaction to the shale boom is a good example of this.

Join us for the final post in the series tomorrow when we Mind the Carbon Gap between country’s extraction, production and consumption totals.

All the data used in this series is based on the recent, and freely downloadable, paper ‘Climate policy and dependence on traded carbon‘ by Robbie Andrew, Steven Davis and Glen Peters. Many thanks to Robbie in particular for providing the data.

This article, Who Are The Big 5 In The Carbon Trade?, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

US Uses 11 Times More Energy Than UK