Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 229

Energy efficiency and renewable energy development – the main requirements for sustainable energy development

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 25 aprile 2019

Universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is one of the 17 global goals of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development. One of the VIII Global Energy Prize Summit`s round tables, held at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, was devoted to the discussion of the requirements for achieving this goal. Representatives of the energy sector from 6 countries identified the economic, environmental, social aspects of the energy goal of the 2030-agenda, as well as the role of international energy cooperation.
In recent years, the proportion of the world’s population with access to electricity has increased from 78% to 87%, thanks to recent progress in electrification, especially in economically backward countries. However, nearly one billion people worldwide still have no access to electricity. Given that energy demand continues to grow, it will require significant investment in infrastructure, systemic integration and strong political action. In this scenario, the share of renewables in the global energy mix will be 50% by 2035 and carbon emissions due to the decrease in demand for coal will be reduced, says Marta Bonifert, Member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Board Member of the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum (HBLF), Environment and Sustainability WS Leader. She also added that the key to success in achieving the UN goals is the joint work of all state and non-state actors. “We need visionary transformational leaders, as well as leadership from government, science, politics, business and society, to lead this process. The Global Energy Prize is a vivid example of this and a real accelerator of change”. For 17 years, it has played a crucial role in the field of energy, showing the world of scientists whose innovative developments are transformative, expand the boundaries of science and open up new opportunities for humanity,” the expert concluded.
The importance of abandoning hydrocarbon sources for sustainable energy development was stressed by David Faiman, Member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Professor Emeritus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. According to him, solar and wind power plants can suspend the construction of new CHP. Thus, 348 billion kW of electricity generated annually by fossil-fuel power plants can be replaced by the construction of 232 GW of new photovoltaic power plants and 199 GW of wind generators. The construction of new power plants can be achieved through the sale of bonds. Such a power plant could generate more revenue per year and cover the cost of construction of the next one. According to the expert, it is necessary to increase the generation of energy from solar and wind power stations by 3-5 times to achieve the sustainable development goals, but this requires political will and concerted actions of various states. David Faiman`s idea about the future weakening influence of traditional energy sources was supported by William Byun, Member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Managing Director at Asia Renewables, Head of Greenpower fuels and Principal at Conchubar Infrastructure Fund. According to him, global investment in coal-fired power plants will decline, but demand for electricity, especially in developing countries, will continue to grow and increase by 30% by 2035. Therefore, it is necessary to rapidly increase RES, and public and corporate investments in research and development can contribute to this process.The massive development of renewable energy sources is indispensable condition for achieving the seventh sustainable development goal – was accepted by all participants in the discussion. And most often, the advantages of using solar and wind energy were cited as an example. However, Tom Blees, Member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, President of the Science Council for Global Initiatives (SCGI), believes that solar and wind energy is not enough to cover the growing demand for electricity. “Wind and solar power plants require areas equal to South America to provide environmentally friendly electricity to every citizen of the Earth”, he said. The expert is convinced that nuclear energy is the key to achieving sustainable energy development. Among the promising options for nuclear installations, he highlights the low-pressure thorium reactors on molten salts. According to the project, such installations can be located on ships and transported to regions in need of electricity. Thus, they can become available sources of energy, especially for developing countries that do not have the means to build their own nuclear facilities. As a result, it will improve the quality of life of their citizens and raise production.Summing up the discussion, the experts made a conclusion that with the increase in the population, the need for clean energy will only grow. To meet the demand for electricity, it is necessary to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, improve energy efficiency, increase investment in clean energy sources, and all these measures should be taken into account the socio-economic aspects of a region. At the same time, states must show the political will to achieve a single solution that is environmentally and economically effective as well as socially just. (font: Global Energy Prize Public Relations)

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