Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Road To Renewable Energy for Developing Countries

In efforts to reduce the growing imbalance between energy demand and production, developing countries like India and China look towards renewable sources of energy. There is an acute energy shortage faced by developing countries. For example, in the world energy mix, India produces about 2.4% of the world's total production and consumes around 3.2% of world's energy per year.

Both these countries are concerned that energy demand and supply gap can slow down their economies; hence steps to harness renewable energy potential are being undertaken on a very serious note. In 2007, China had a renewable energy investment of 12billionUSD which was almost equivalent to Germany as a percentage of GDP. The 11th five year plan of India aims to spend about 2billionUSD for 'new and renewable energy development'.

The outcomes of these massive plans are clearly visible. China and India are in the top five leading countries to exploit their domestic wind energy capabilities. Moreover, bigger plans are underway in China. It is poised to become the world leader in exporting wind turbines and has also doubled its installed wind energy capacity by adding 6300MW last year as shown in the graph below. Moreover it is the world's leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic technology which is worth of 15billion USD already. India's Suzlon is the world's fifth largest wind turbine maker by sales and plans to double its production by 2010 i.e. 5,700MW (annually). India plans to promote solar energy usage using fiscal and other measures such as feed-in-tariff in the 11th five year plan. Already 60 'solar cities' are supported by the government of India. In one of the older blogs, our classmate gave us some information on the projected increase of 3800MW wind energy capability in Mexico in the coming years. Bio fuels are also on the rise in both the countries.

A drive towards energy efficiency is underway with no half measures!. China has restricted the air conditioning and heating temperatures, and has stopped the sales of inefficient units. Steps like these have helped both the countries to revisit their carbon emission issue too. Future developments and policies of both these countries will depend on above mentioned critical issues. Not only have the above plans have increased self sufficiency but they have also boosted their economy by providing employment opportunities. I think other developing countries should follow a similar path towards balance of energy mix.

1.)Article on China renewable energy


Rafi said...

Devoloping countries’ efforts to increase their development and use of renewable energy will help in decreasing Earth’s pollutants. Are countries such as China and India switching to renewables just to boost their economies, though, or would they be switching anyway to better the environment? Recently, China has enforced stricter factory standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While reducing harm to the environment, this move also increased costs in the factories, forcing factories to fire workers or even shut down their work. Do the people hired in these countries for cleaner, renewable energy outnumber those fired from places where coal was used?

Abhinav Sharma said...

You have a good point. Although, I donot have an estimate with me about the number of jobs which are being lost in China. What I can say is that at this moment of time, its not the stricter standards because of which china has high unemployment right now. However, its the economic downturn.
The video below explains a lot about it.
What China is trying to do is to create jobs by using the renewable energy to boost the economy by creating jobs and also being environment friendly!
Hope this helps.