Sustainable EnergyNo. 3 Vol. LII 2015
This issue focuses on sustainable energy, and explores topics such as universal energy access, increasing the use of renewable energy, improved energy efficiency and the nexus between energy and development.
Booming economic growth, rapid urbanization, and expanding industrialization and development have increased the country's demand for electricity. Renewable energy will play a vital role in meeting the demand for electricity, especially in the off-grid areas of the country.
Central American countries need to bring togetherthe efforts of regional, national and international partners to promote the policy coherence, institutional coordination, capacities and investments necessary to address energy poverty and develop a cleaner transport sector. These factors are a key to achieving sustainability in all dimensions of energy production and use.
Despite growing energy use, for the first time in four decades, global carbon emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable in 2014 as the global economy grew.
Solar Sister is demonstrating the importance of women-led innovation in supporting the Sustainable Energy for All objectives related to universal energy access and renewable energy. Solar Sister has created a path for 2,000 women in Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria to become active and knowledgeable participants in a sustainable, market-based clean energy distribution network, bringing clean energy access to over a quarter of a million people.
Implementing renewable energy strategies in city environments is rapidly becoming energetically imperative. Making the transition involves not only switching the energy source, but making sure it is cost-effective, sustainable and beneficial for development.
We are still on the long road towards incorporating sustainable energy, but the global debate culminating in the approval of the SDGs framework in September 2015 has reached a monumental acceptance of energy as an essential tool within a sustainable development agenda. With this new mandate and with SDG 7 firmly supported by Member States and development partners around the world, it is now possible to integrate more sustainable energy systems that improve lives, promote inclusive and resilient societies, and provide sustainable development for the future we want.
By the time Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, which seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had already rolled out their regional road map and presented their national action agendas to attain it. The region seems to be on the fast track to getting out of the energy poverty trap.
The persistent critical challenge is to ensure an improved quality of life and economic growth, while reducing the environmental footprint of the energy sector. The transition to a sustainable energy system is an opportunity to improve energy efficiency from source to use, minimize environmental impacts, reduce energy and carbon intensities, and correct energy market failures.
For the global community, universal sustainable energy must be a top priority. We owe it to the 1.1 billion people still living without electricity and the 2.9 billion people still using polluting biomass fuels for cooking and heating.
Iceland's conversion is a meaningful success story rather than a one model for all approach. First and foremost, Iceland is an inspiring example of what is possible, with many important lessons to share for any country seeking such a transformation.
Properly utilized atomic power can save lives and resources, and it is time for a fundamental re-examination of its applications and further development of peaceful atomic research.
ICT can play an important role in energy conservation and efficiency through sensing and control. ICT can also contribute to higher resource utilization through shared systems and increased efficiency driven through smarter appliances, infrastructure and manufacturing. Information systems can enable behavioral changes and reduce emissions by scheduling loads based on supply.
This is the critical challenge we face today. IRENA analyses show that the story of renewables competitiveness is nuanced. Wide variations in installed costs exist, not only between countries, but within a country. Some of these differences are due to structural or project-specific issues, but many could be addressed through better policy.
Cities contribute up to 70 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and over 75 per cent of total global energy generated is consumed in cities. Urban residents are already exposed to the negative effects of climate change and many of the most vulnerable populations reside in cities.
Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) is a call for both revolution and reform: a radical vision where everyone can access and afford the reliable energy they need to live a productive, healthy, secure life, while respecting the planetary constraints that we all face as a result of climate change.