Renewable Energy Not a “Competing” Priority in Haiti

 blog  Comments Off on Renewable Energy Not a “Competing” Priority in Haiti
Dec 302010
by Mark Konold and Alexander Ochs

Recently the Brookings Institution hosted a panel that examined Haiti’s political and humanitarian developments since the January 2010 earthquake. A theme that came up regularly was that of competing priorities such as turbulent elections, a cholera outbreak, a lack of dependable energy supply, and gender-based violence. As the Worldwatch Institute prepares to develop a Low-Carbon Energy Roadmap for Haiti, some have questioned whether limited donor resources should be channeled into something more pressing than assessing and improving the country’s energy infrastructure. Is an energy roadmap really needed right now, or are other matters more important?

The cholera outbreak in Haiti is an urgent matter that deserves all the attention it is currently receiving. However, we must keep in mind that a lack of proper sanitation – due to a lack of electricity – helped cause the recent outbreak. Had the country’s energy infrastructure been more robust and sustainable, basic sanitation and electricity in hospitals might not have been lost and the current epidemic might have been avoided.

[Read the rest of this ReVolt blog]

Mapping the future: Why bidding farewell to fossil fuels is in our interest – and how it can be done

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Mapping the future: Why bidding farewell to fossil fuels is in our interest – and how it can be done
Dec 082010

Developing efficient, sustainable energy systems based on renewable energy and smart grid technology is not only an environmental necessity: it is a social and economic imperative. We rely on fossil fuels for more than 85 per cent of all energy we use and pay a high price for our dependency, on all fronts. An overhaul of the way we produce, transport, store, and consume energy is underway and an improved energy world is emerging, slowly. Intelligent policies based on concise roadmaps will get us there faster.

cover_ClimateAction_2010People around the world are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, storms, droughts, and floods – these natural processes, artificially intensified by global warming, will affect agriculture, fishing, transportation, and tourism to an ever greater degree. Changing ecosystems and landscapes, biodiversity losses, the surge of tropical diseases, and food and water shortages will lead to economic and welfare losses on an unprecedented scale should climate change remain largely unabated as it is today.

The cost of fossil fuels is unjustifiable

Even if we take climate change, which has been called this century’s greatest challenge, off the table for a moment, transitioning our energy systems is a socioeconomic imperative. For a host of reasons, our reliance on fossil fuels comes at an unjustifiably high cost to our economies. First, the burning of coal and petroleum pollutes our air and water. China, for example, estimates that addressing its pollution and pollution-related health problems swallows up to 10 per cent of its total annual GDP. Imagine if the country could put these huge resources into addressing pressing social needs!

[Please find the full article here. It has been published in UNEP’s Climate Action 2010 book; please find the whole book here.]

Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps

 presentation  Comments Off on Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps
Dec 022010

Presentation at Side Event of the European Climate Foundation at COP 16
EU Pavilion, Cancun, 2 December 2010


Global Primary Energy Supply by Source, 2007
Average Global Growth Rates by Energy Source, 2004-2009
World Wind Capacity, 1996-2008
World Solar PV Capacity, 1990-2009
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), 2009
World Solar Water Heating Capacity, 1995-2007
Renewables as a Share of Electricity Generation, 1990-2008
Global Electricity from Renewables, 2002-2008
Cost of New U.S. Power Generation, 2008
CO2 Emissions per capita, select countries
Renewable Electricity in Germany, 1990 – 2007
CO2 Emissions Avoided with Renewable Energy in Germany
Wind Capacity, Top 10 Countries, 2009
Landmass vs. Wind Capacity (MW), Germany and Continental U.S. (2007)
Solar PV Production by Country/Region, 2000-2008
Solar PV Capacity, Top Six Countries, 2009
Photovoltaic Solar Resource: United States and Germany
Global Potential of Renewable Resources
Solar Potential
U.S. Electricity Generation by Source: Worldwatch Scenario 2030
Energy Transitions: 2000 – 2100
Worldwatch 5-Phase Design of Low-Carbon Growth Strategies
Worldwatch’s Energy Roadmaps
Worldwatch’s Energy Roadmaps, Example: Dominican Republic

[You can find the  full presentation here]