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Less than ten countries in the world had adequate renewable energy policies, said World Council for Renewable Energy president Herman Scheer at the opening session of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) solar world congress in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Scheer added that the renewable energy technology ‘revolution' in Germany took place largely thanks to policies put in place by that country's government, which created "investment autonomy".
The policies were within a framework that was decisive and not limited by quotas, and gave a sufficient return on investment.
He added that the global renewable energy market was currently worth some $100-billion a year. This compared with the conventional energy market which was said to be worth some $400-billion a year.
ISES president Monica Oliphant noted that although the renewable industry had experienced "outstanding" growth in recent years, the global financial recession had had a negative impact on the industry. However, the industry was showing signs of recovery in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, Scheer explained that in order to implement adequate renewable energy policies, there were a number of perceptions that needed to be changed.
The first of these perceptions was that renewable energy was often viewed as an "economic burden", which Scheer said was not true, and added that a technological energy revolution was possible.
He also said that the industry should not wait for the outcomes of negotiations, such as the Copenhagen global climate change conference in December, as a habit of "globally talking and locally postponing" was emerging.
Scheer further stated that the industrial and cultural acceptance of renewable energy was also important, and industry players should make it known that applying renewable energy was a benefit to the economy at a macro-economic level, but also a micro-economic level.
When it came to the debate concerning energy pricing, Scheer said that conventional energy prices would continue to increase because of depletion of resources, while renewable energy prices could only go down. He explained that renewable energy was essentially a technology cost, and once critical mass for manufacture was achieved, the technology costs would decrease.
"We must overcome the myth of indispensability of conventional energy," emphasised Scheer. He said that the way to do this was to showcase a project with 100% renewable energy solution. He said that once everyday people were convinced of the reliability of renewable energy, they would no longer accept postponements and delays, and would put pressure on government to speed up renewable energy deployment.
Scheer also said that renewable energy should take priority in the research and development field.
Finally, Scheer said that the debate about time was probably the most important at present, and said that renewable energy needed to be introduced faster. He gave the example of the spread of information and communications technology, which did not need policies to stimulate investment, and the sector has grown phenomenally over recent years.
He stressed that renewable energy could provide energy security and improve lives.
"We can show, with the technology, that this is possible. But it is only possible if people use this chance and become active, and activate people in society. And the best keyword that we should use for this is ‘possiblists', because what is possible should be implemented in the fastest possible way," asserted Scheer.
Other speakers at the opening session of the conference concurred, and World Wide Fund for Nature climate change programme manager Richard Worthington said that renewable energy technologies should be grown "as fast as is humanly possible".
He added that limiting the growth of the sector with targets was perhaps not the best way to encourage growth of the industry.
"Renewable energy will, and must shape our future," emphasised Oliphant.
"The time for solar energy has arrived," reiterated Department of Energy clean energy division head David Mahuma, who added that South Africa had taken a "huge step forward" when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) on Friday.
The MOU would "level the playing field for the private investor, for concentrated solar power (CSP) on a large scale. Things will be done upfront, and in large volumes," he said.
Mahuma also highlighted the potential that renewable energy had to contribute to the regional Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
He said that renewable energy should be added into the energy mix of the SAPP, and not exclusively hydro power such as that coming from Inga, and highlighted CSP as particular contributor.
WWF、クリーンエネルギーは2020年には第三の産業になる！ Clean Economy, Living Planetリポートを発表
WWFは、202年には、クリーンエネルギー部門は、自動車、電気に次ぐ第三の産業に成長するという見通しとともに、主要な国におけるクリーンエネルギー関連の事業の規模を総額、GDP比によりランキングし、その成長を示すClean Economy, Living Planetリポートを発表した。
・Clean Economy, Living Planet(PDF)
-----image : WWF Clean Economy, Living Planetカバー
・Growing China industry helps clean energy boom-----WWF,11 December 2009
" Clean energy technology is on track to become the third largest industrial sector globally with a rapidly increasing share taken up by China, predicted a WWF report released at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen today.
Clean Economy, Living Planet - Building Strong Clean Energy Technology Industries is a first ever worldwide country ranking by clean energy sales, finding that relative to GDP it is wind energy and insulation pioneer Denmark and bio-ethanol giant Brazil that are leading the way. Germany, trading on a substantial manufacturing base and public support for wind and solar energy, is in third place.
The report predicted that by 2020 the industry would be worth ?1600 billion a year in 2020, ranking behind automobiles and electronics as the third largest industrial sector. In 2007, clean energy technology had a sales volume of ?630 billion and was already larger than the global pharmaceutical industry.
・1st World Ranking of Clean Energy Technology (CET) Sales ? CET to Become 3rd Largest Global Sales Sector by 2020-----CleanTechnica,December 13th, 2009
・Clean energy could be third-largest industrial sector by 2020 - report-----Engineering News,11th December 2009
このClean Economy, Living Planetによると、2008年度のクリーンエネルギーの国別ランキングの総額ベースでは、日本はドイツ、アメリカについで３位となるが、対GDP比では、デンマーク、ブラジル、ドイツ、スペイン、フィンランド、中国、オーストリア、ベルギー、韓国、アイルランドのベスト10に漏れ、11位となるということです。12位がフランス、アメリカが19位、イギリスが20位ということです。
-----image : P.12 Figure 4 Clean Energy Technology sales by country 2008 in absolute and
relative terms [EUR bn, % GDP]より、上-Absolute global Clean Energy Technology product sales 2008 [EUR bn]、下-Relative global Clean Energy Technology product sales weighted by GDP 2008 [% EUR]-----
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) this week released a report predicting that by 2020 the clean energy technology industry would be worth €1,6-trillion a year - ranking behind automobiles and electronics as the third-largest industrial sector.
In 2007, clean energy technology already had a sales volume of €630-billion and was larger than the global pharmaceuticals industry.
China was expected to take up a large portion of this growth in clean energy technology.
The nongovernmental organisation released the report entitled ‘Clean Economy, Living Planet - Building Strong Clean Energy Technology Industries’ at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, and said that it was the first worldwide country ranking by clean energy sales.
“The report demonstrates that the idea of a clean economy is not a fallacy but can be achieved,” said WWF South Africa Living Planet unit manager Saliem Fakir.
“This is an opportunity that still needs to be grasped in South Africa. We are waiting expectantly for the birth of the clean technology revolution in South Africa, which will see us move away from a dependence on coal,” he added.
The report found that relative to gross domestic product (GDP), it was wind energy and insulation pioneer Denmark, and bio-ethanol giant Brazil, that were leading the way. Germany, trading on a substantial manufacturing base and public support for wind and solar energy, was in third place.
China was ranked fourth in terms of absolute sales, and sixth relative to its GDP.
Sales revenues from energy efficiency products in 2007 were more than five times the revenues from renewable energy products, but WWF said that this would change significantly by 2020, with the growth rate for renewables at 15% a year being three times the still respectable 5% yearly of efficiency products and process revenues.
“This is the clean economy growth happening now with only a partial Kyoto Protocol international framework supporting clean energy development, patchy national support for green energy and huge subsidies to fossil fuel use. Imagine what is possible with a successful Copenhagen climate deal and the national mechanisms to deliver its outcomes – clean energy is where the money is going to be and this is where energy security is going to be,” said WWF global climate initiative manager Kim Carstensen.
The report advocates that countries seeking to develop clean energy technology sectors should implement ‘technology action plans’, to take technologies from research to demonstration, and bridge the gap between research institutions and industry.
“Central banks could help by encouraging the inclusion of ‘carbon risk’ into financial modeling. Access to seed or venture capital has also been a factor in the success of clean energy in the leading countries,” said WWF.
The report also emphasised the importance of developing a strong domestic market in technologies, with a strong domestic fit.
“It allows companies to experiment, gain experience and quickly traverse the learning curve – both giving them a competitive lead and providing them with reference and showcase projects,” the report said.
Governments could support such domestic markets with subsidies, renewable energy targets, and procurement policies.
Countries that could benefit from such moves included the US, ranked 18 on the GDP weighted rankings, and the UK, ranked 19. Illustrating opportunities lost, Australia - which squandered an early technical lead in solar energy – was ranked 28.
“Clearly, from a national perspective there is much to gain and nothing to lose from investing in clean energy,” said WWF-Netherlands Climate Programme manager Donald Pols.
“Forgoing these opportunities for the sake of propping up an aging, polluting fossil fuel sector for as long as its lobbying power remains significant is acting for vested interests not the national interest,” he added.