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The significant level of problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

Albert Einstein

The three major global challenges relating to energy supply security, investment credit and climate change are interlinked. They are currently attracting the attention of virtually everyone on the planet who has access to information since nobody is exempt from their consequences. To maintain the current quality of life enjoyed by one billion residents in OECD countries, and to improve it for many others, especially the two billion living in the least developed countries with only very basic energy services, society may need to accept a new economic and technical approach that can cause civilisation to move along the lines of a new paradigm. Making the necessary transition for the global energy sector from the fossil fuel era to a "post-carbon" era will not be an easy task, especially since sustainable development is a parallel objective that should include the more sustainable use and more equitable share of our limited resources, including energy, for all humankind.

If deployment of renewable energy technologies is to gain any significant traction at forthcoming international energy debates and climate change negotiations (where most countries usually seek to maximise any gains for their own advantage), the topic will need a greater awareness created of economic growth potential, commercial opportunities, and hope for the future. Various models show that large potential increases in renewable energy will need to occur, such as:

I the IEA World Energy Outlook 450 ppm Policy Scenario (IEA, 2009a) that projected 19% of total electricity will come from hydro in 2030, 18% from other renewables, and 278 Mtoe of biofuels, mainly 2nd-generation, will supply 9% of total liquid transport fuels (IEA, 2008d);

I the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (IPCC, 2007) that identified 33% of electricity and 10% of biofuels will come from renewables in 2030;

I the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives BLUE scenario analysis (that roughly equated to the WEO 450 policy scenario) that showed 46% of electricity and 23% of liquid transport fuels in 2050 will have to be met by renewable energy; and

I K rewitt et al., 2007 who projected 70% of electricity and 65% of global heat supply will come from renewables in 2050.

In 2007, around 340 EJ (8 100 Mtoe) of primary energy was consumed directly in towns and cities by residents who used considerably more coal, gas and electricity per capita than rural dwellers, but less oil (IEA, 2008a). A large proportion of the total energy was consumed in commercial buildings and by small- to medium-scale industries, which tend to be located mostly in urban locations. The overall efficiency of the systems that currently provide energy services to city residents, mainly from the extraction, conversion, distribution and utilisation of coal, oil and gas, has been assessed to be below 10%13. Therefore, there is good potential to improve the process throughout the supply chain. Electricity is one energy carrier that can help provide city consumers with greater and more diverse energy access in the future, but ideally it needs to become a more efficient system than it is at present (Fig. 4).

The entire urban energy system comprises all the various components relating to the provision and use of energy services. Regardless of where the energy resource is extracted or conversion technologies are located, energy flows provide direct energy inputs including electricity from distant power plants

13. Draft of forthcoming Global Energy Assessment to be published 2010; www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/ENE/GEA/

Figure 4 • The conversion from primary energy to energy carriers and end-uses is an inefficient process exemplified here by electric lighting (a), even where more efficient power generation plants are employed(b) and energy efficient light bulbs have been installed (c)

Gas or coal Generation Transmission Distribution

Customer

Wiring

Lamp

Fitting

Useful

light

a)Thermal power energy and losses in the production of one unit of useful light energy 320 112 106

Primary energy

Primary energy

% loss b) Investment in more efficient gas-fired power stations reduces fuel inputs by around 30%

224 112 106 101 100 2 1 1

9800 5000

9800 5000

c) Investment in energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs reduces fuel inputs by around 80%

ll l1

ll l1

10

Primary

energy

0 loss 650

Source: Cleland, 2005

90% 5000

and natural gas in pipelines transmitted long distances for consumption by city dwellers, as well as transport fuels used for moving people and goods locally and internationally to and from the city. In addition, but often not accounted for, is the embodied energy in goods and services imported to an urban system and also exported from it in the form of manufactured goods etc. The share of energy flows that stem from the use of renewable energy sources within a city boundary can range from 0% to 100%.

Assessing the energy flows through a city is complex and available data tends to be very limited. One coarse way to estimate urban energy use would be to use national energy consumption data divided by the share of the national population living in the city. However, since urban and rural energy demands per capita differ significantly in some countries, this approach would have limited value. Since actual city energy use data is not readily available, then in some way weighting the coarse energy use per capita numbers (such as by using coefficients based on wealth and saturation levels), could be one method to gain greater differentiation. Taking into account the embodied energy in all imported and exported goods and services is also relevant. This adds to the complexity and highlights data inadequacy even more. Further discussion is found below in Section 7 relating to climate change policies.

There are regional differences in energy use. European cities consume less energy per capita and per year than those in North America or Australasia due to higher population density, extensive urban public transport systems such as subways, and efficient district heating of buildings in some countries. In these regions, differences in consumption of electricity, heat and transport fuels occur between rural and urban dwellers, even though access to energy services is similar wherever someone lives. A rural resident, however, tends to consume more direct energy than an urban resident, mainly due to the higher personal transport demands of those living in more remote areas where relative distances are large and public transport is less available. Conversely in non-OECD countries such as China for example, as average incomes increase in urban areas and access to modern energy services improves, energy consumption per capita has increased to be double that of rural dwellers. While this gap may narrow over time, continuing urbanisation will increase the share of energy used in cities and towns. Conversely, urban incomes tend to be higher than rural incomes. So even if the direct energy use per capita in urban areas is less, the combined energy use when including the embodied energy in products and services consumed, would be greater.

Electricity is a unique energy carrier in that it can use virtually all primary energy sources to provide a wide range of useful goods and services irrespective of scale. For inhabitants of a modern city, perhaps even more so than for those living in rural areas, electricity is essential to enable the further development of technological innovation, communication, safety, supply of water, treatment of wastes, improved health and economic growth.

Governments continue to place priority on supplying electricity to meet the growing demand due to the positive impact it can have on quality of life and economic development, whether in OECD or non-OECD countries. Consumption of electricity per capita currently ranges from zero (for the 1.6 billion people without access to it) to over 10 000 kilowatt hours per year in the United States. The global electrification gap effectively excludes a significant proportion of the world population from the potential benefits of a global economy. However, there may be opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog the inefficient generation and energy intensive use of electricity in OECD countries by the uptake of distributed energy systems based mainly on their locally available renewable energy sources (see Section 4).

In its business-as-usual Reference Scenario analysis of future primary energy fuel demands based on government policies currently in place, the IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 showed annual growth rate in cities out to 2030 increasing by 1.2% a year for oil and nuclear, 2.0% for gas, 2.2% for coal and large hydro, 2.6% for biomass and wastes, and 7.4% for "other renewables" that include wind, solar and

geothermal. Fossil fuels continued to dominate in 2006 by providing 86.4% of the urban total energy demand, and the IEA projection was that a similar share will occur in 2015, dropping only slightly to 85.1% by 2030. However, the expectation that the remaining stocks of oil, gas and coal will have to be used more efficiently and that much of the carbon dioxide released during their combustion must be captured and sequestered wherever feasible, in spite of the additional costs, has to be taken into account.

Overall renewable energy demand in cities based on existing policies and plants, including from large hydro and biomass, was projected in the WEO Reference Scenario to only rise from a 6.6% share of primary energy in 2006 to 7.3% in 2015, reaching 9.0% in 2030. Far higher levels could be achieved in reality given appropriate policies, continuing cost reductions with increased experience and strong leadership at all levels of government. Currently, although cities account for just over 50% of the world's population, they consume 82% of total annual natural gas use, 76% of nuclear, 76% of coal, 75% of hydro, 72% of the other renewables and 63% of oil (since a high proportion of transport is outside of cities). Conversely, only 24% of biomass is consumed in cities since this resource is mainly used for traditional cooking and heating in rural areas. Around 76% of total electricity generation is consumed by city dwellers. By 2030, each of these shares will have risen by between 3-5 percentage points as urban growth continues, the exception being biomass and waste, which is projected to rise by seven percentage points as additional modern bioenergy projects in industry and power are developed and more biofuels are consumed.

Greater efficiencies in the combustion of fossil fuels and increased deployment of low-carbon technologies over time, together will not be enough to combat the future advent of peak oil and

Figure 5 • World anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 by source, amounting to 44.2 Gt CO2-equivalent with cities accounting for around half of total emissions

Waste 0.09 Agriculture 2.19 Industry 0.03

Waste 1.31

F-Gases 0.49

Industry 1.81

Agriculture 2.83 Energy 1.56

Figure 5 • World anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 by source, amounting to 44.2 Gt CO2-equivalent with cities accounting for around half of total emissions

F-Gases 0.49

Industry 1.81

Agriculture 2.83 Energy 1.56

Deforestation 3.26

Decay 3.55

Notes: F-gases include HFCs, PFCs and SF6 from several sectors mainly industry.

Industry CO2 includes non-energy uses of fossil fuels, gas flaring and process emissions. Energy methane includes coal mines, gas leakages and fugitive emissions. Land use emissions are very uncertain. Source: IPCC, 2007; IEA, 2008a, OECD, 2008 and EPA data provided to IEA.

Deforestation 3.26

Decay 3.55

F-gases 1%

Methane 13%

Nitrous oxide 5%

Carbon dioxide 81%

Energy 61% Non-energy 20%

Notes: F-gases include HFCs, PFCs and SF6 from several sectors mainly industry.

Industry CO2 includes non-energy uses of fossil fuels, gas flaring and process emissions. Energy methane includes coal mines, gas leakages and fugitive emissions. Land use emissions are very uncertain. Source: IPCC, 2007; IEA, 2008a, OECD, 2008 and EPA data provided to IEA.

gas14 nor the threat of climate change. Agreement was reached by the G8 nations at the L'Aquila Summit in July 2009 that global annual emissions of greenhouse gases will need to be cut by at least 50% by 2050 with industrialised nations aiming for 80% reductions in order to try to meet the target of avoiding more than a 2oC rise in the global mean annual temperature (currently already around 0.7oC above the 14.0oC pre-industrial level). However, international climate change negotiations regarding policies and co-operation needed to meet this target are proceeding only slowly. Energy continues to dominate current total world greenhouse gas emissions (Fig. 5). Although decarbonising this sector alone cannot totally solve the problem, significant mitigation measures would help reach the overall objective (IPCC, 2007). This will need leadership from cities in OECD countries that produce the majority of greenhouse gases, but many cities in other economies are also significant contributors. Therefore, all countries and their cities will need to participate.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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