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that CSP will achieve the cost target of about $0.05/kWh by the time it has an installed capacity of about 40 GW (GEF 2005). As a reference point, wind power achieved that capacity milestone in 2003.

1.5 Role of Energy Conservation

Energy conservation can and must play an important role in future energy strategy, because it can ameliorate adverse impacts on the environment rapidly and economically. Figure 1.18 and Figure 1.19 give an idea of the potential of energy efficiency improvements. Figure 1.18 shows that per capita energy consumption varies by as much as a factor of three between the U.S.A. and some European countries with almost the same level of human development index (HDI). Even taking just the OECD European countries combined, the per capita energy consumption in the U.S.A. is twice as much. It is fair to assume that the per capita energy of the United States could be reduced to the level of OECD Europe of 4.2 kW by a combination of energy efficiency improvements and changes in the transportation infrastructure. This is significant because the U.S.A. uses about 25% of the energy of the whole world. The present per capita energy consumption in the U.S.A. is 284 GJ, which is equivalent to about 9 kW per person, whereas the average for the whole world is 2 kW. The Board of Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology has developed a vision of a 2-kW-per-capita society by the middle of the century (UNDP 2004). The vision is technically feasible. However, achieving this vision will require a combination of increased R&D on energy efficiency and policies that encourage conservation and use of high efficiency systems. It will also require some structural changes in the transportation systems. According to the 2004 World Energy Assessment by UNDP, a reduction of 25%-35% in primary energy in the industrialized countries is achievable cost effectively in the next 20 years, without sacrificing the level of energy services. The report also concluded that similar reductions of up to 40% are cost effectively achievable in the transitional economies and more than 45% in developing economies. As a combined result of efficiency improvements and structural changes such as increased recycling, substitution of energy intensive materials, etc., energy intensity could decline at a rate of 2.5% per year over the next 20 years (UNDP 2004).

TABLE 1.8 Potential and Status of RE Technologies


Annual Potential

Operating Capacity 2005a,b

Investment Costs U.S.$ per kWb

Current Energy Cost

Potential Future Energy cost

Biomass Energy

276-446 EJ total or 8-13 TW

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