Category Green Energy Technology, Economics and Policy


Modeling technology deployment costs on the basis of learning rates is not easy – if a low pessimistic learning rate is assumed for a technology, it may be squeezed out by technologies with higher learning rate; if a highly optimistic learning rate is assumed, it may lead to unrealistically high estimates of potential cost reductions.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) camp up with estimated commercialization costs of power generation technologies, based on reasonable learning rates (Table 18.2)

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From the perspective of bio fuel production algae they have enormous advantages over plants which can be summarized as (Exxon Mobil, 2010):

[16] The use of otherwise unsuitable land: Algae can be grown using land and water unsuitable for plant or food production, unlike some other first – and second- generation biofuel feedstocks.

[17] Direct use of several naturally occurring polymers after subjecting them to thermal treatment, chemical derivatisation or blending.

• Thermochemical conversions, such as Fischer-Tropsch process of converting coal to oil, and methanol-to-olefins (MTO) via pyrolysis or gasification. There is tremendous potential for using low-cost coal and stranded gas feedstocks for MTO

[18] A private company has no incentive in pursuing RD&D which brings about society-wide...

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Wave power

Wave power can be used for electricity generation, as well as water for desalination and pumping of water into reservoirs. Wave power is distinct from the diurnal flux of tidal power and the steady flow of ocean currents.

Waves are generated by wind passing over the surface of the sea. As long as the waves propagate slower than the wind speed just above the waves, there is an energy transfer from the wind to the waves. Both air pressure differences between the upwind

• The learning curves are based on price, rather than cost data.

• The factors that will drive the future cost reductions may be different from those of the past.

• The cost of bringing energy-efficient appliances to the market should take into account not only the bottom-up engineering models (which tend to overestimate

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Overview and integration

U. Aswathanarayana (India)

The book deals with five themes.

Theme 1: Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs)

There is little doubt that the Renewables are the energy resources of the future, for the simple reason that they are not only “green’’ but most of them do not get depleted when used. The BLUE Map scenario envisages a strong growth of renewables (reaching about 20 000 TWh/yr by 2050) to achieve the IPCC target of 450 ppm of CO2.

Wind energy is believed to be the most advanced of the “new’’ renewable energy technologies. Wind power (2 016 GW) is expected to provide 12% of the global electricity by 2050, thereby avoiding annually 2.8 gigatonnes of emissions of CO2 equivalent. Wind power sector would need an investment of USD 3.2 trillion during 2010-2050...

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Since so many organizations, governments and committed people work for the eradi­cation of poverty, energy planners, technologists and policy makers need not to change their focus. At the same time, this is a perfect opportunity, timing, a critical juncture, which could be used to achieve multiple goals of greening the energy sources and increasing the energy security, while at the same time eradicating poverty by striving towards mitigating climate change.

The goals for poverty eradication, environmental protection and securing energy supplies can be combined. Low carbon energy sources and green energy technolo­gies can contribute for the development and eradication of poverty in many different ways...

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MDGs are showing its positive impact on those societies, though extreme poverty and related under development didn’t disappear yet. A climate change induced drought, flood, and spread of epidemics combined with food shortage can create havoc. In order to have continuity in the achieved standards and for a further development, the process of economic development has to be continued in those parts of the world. Industry, commerce, agriculture and other services have to be developed and flourish. Communication and transport networks are needed to facilitate development. All kind of economic activity needs to be fuelled by reliable source of energy. This is the missing goal in MDGs...

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Poverty can be eradicated through short-term measures such as economic aid. But in a long term perspective it is only through economic development that poverty can be eradicated. Investments in green energy technologies and projects, and availability of energy itself for those vulnerable sections of society is a long-term measure, which contributes to economic development.

The most comprehensive poverty eradication program is the Millennium develop­ment goals adopted by UN General Assembly (2000) during the Millennium Summit 2000. World leaders issued the Millennium Declaration in which nations together agreed for the realization of some time bound targets...

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There is already a persisting predicament of poverty in many developing countries. Resolving such a development issue itself is challenge for the national governments and the other involved organizations. A natural calamity such as a flood or drought exacerbates poverty and underdevelopment. The prolonged drought in 2005 left many African states is distress and caused an alarming food crisis. The story of such a severe calamity reported in New York Times in November 2005 (Wines, 2005) says,

More than 4.6 million of Malawi’s 12 million citizens need donated food to fend off malnutrition until the next harvest begins in April. In Zimbabwe, at least four million more need emergency food aid. Zambia’s government has issued an urgent appeal for food, saying 1...

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