Tag: india

Asia’s Untold Renewable Energy Success Story: A Candid Conversation

Asia’s energy transition is a significant and often overlooked aspect of the global fight against climate change. In the latest episode of the Climate Confident podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Assaad Razzouk, CEO of renewable energy company Gurin Energy, host of The Angry Clean Energy Guy podcast, and author of the book Saving the Planet Without the Bullshit. Our conversation explored the ongoing transformation of the energy landscape in Asia and the positive impact it’s having on the environment.

Asia has long been seen as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, with much of its power coming from coal-fired power plants. However, the tide is turning, and the region is witnessing a massive shift towards clean, renewable energy. Assaad Razzouk shared his extensive knowledge on this topic and provided valuable insights on Asia’s commitment to building a more sustainable future.

One of the episode’s highlights was our discussion about China’s impressive progress in the renewable energy sector. The country has become a global leader in solar power, with over 250 gigawatts of installed solar capacity. This is particularly evident in the rapid expansion of rooftop solar across China, which has benefited from strong government support and policies. China’s solar revolution is not only reducing its reliance on fossil fuels but also paving the way for other countries in the region to follow suit.

Another key takeaway from the episode was the importance of energy access in Asia’s developing countries. Assaad explained that access to electricity is crucial for lifting people out of poverty and improving their quality of life. Decentralized renewable energy solutions, such as rooftop solar and microgrids, are making it possible for remote communities to access clean, reliable power. This not only benefits the environment but also helps to address social and economic inequalities.

We also touched on the issue of plastics in Asia, a complex and multifaceted problem. Thankfully, many Asian countries have taken strong measures to address this issue, banning or significantly reducing the use of single-use plastics. Assaad pointed out that countries like Indonesia have started implementing legislation to hold manufacturers accountable for their plastic waste, a step that is yet to be taken in other parts of the world, including the United States.

The conversation with Assaad Razzouk was both enlightening and inspiring, revealing the incredible progress Asia has made in its energy transition. This transformation is not only helping to combat climate change but also creating opportunities for economic growth, social development, and a brighter future for millions of people.

I encourage you to listen to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast to hear our in-depth discussion with Assaad Razzouk and learn more about Asia’s inspiring energy transition. You can find the episode on your favorite podcast platform or visit the Climate Confident podcast website. Don’t forget to subscribe and share the episode with your friends and colleagues to spread the word about the positive impact of renewable energy in Asia.

Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!

Photo credit UNDP Climate on Flickr

IEA Report: Global CO2 Emissions from Electricity Generation to Plateau

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its 2023 Electricity Market Report and it provides an overview of the trends and developments in the global electricity sector in 2022 and the outlook for 2023-2025. It should be noted at this point that historically IEA reports have proven to significantly underestimate the growth of renewables.

The report covers the impacts of the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, which led to record-high energy prices and a sharp decline in electricity demand in the European Union. It also examines the role of renewables and nuclear energy in meeting the growing electricity demand and reducing the CO2 emissions of power generation. Finally, it discusses the challenges and opportunities for electricity security in a world where both the demand and supply of electricity are becoming increasingly weather-dependent.

The report finds that world electricity demand remained resilient in 2022 amid the global energy crisis, rising by almost 2% compared with the 2.4% average growth rate seen over the period 2015-2019. However, the soaring prices for energy commodities, including natural gas and coal, sharply escalated power generation costs and contributed to a rapid rise in inflation. Economic slowdowns and high electricity prices stifled electricity demand growth in most regions around the world, especially in the European Union, which recorded a 3.5% decline year-on-year in 2022. The report also notes that China’s zero-Covid policy weighed heavily on its economic activity and electricity demand growth in 2022, while India and the United States saw strong increases in demand due to their robust post-pandemic recovery and extreme weather conditions.

The report projects that global electricity demand will grow at a much faster pace of 3% per year over the 2023-2025 period, driven by the electrification of the transport and heating sectors and the economic development of emerging and developing economies. The total increase in global electricity demand of about 2 500 terawatt-hours (TWh) out to 2025 is more than double Japan’s current annual electricity consumption. More than 70% of the growth in global electricity demand is set to come from China, India and Southeast Asia combined, with China’s share of global electricity consumption rising to one-third by 2025.

Global changes in electricity supply 2021-2025

The report also analyses the trends and outlook for global electricity supply, highlighting the dominant role of renewables and nuclear energy in meeting the additional demand. Together, they are expected to account for more than 90% of the growth in global electricity supply over the next three years, with China leading the expansion of renewable generation and India, Japan and Korea contributing to the growth of nuclear generation. The report also notes that the share of renewables in the global power generation mix is forecast to rise from 29% in 2022 to 35% in 2025, while the shares of coal- and gas-fired generation are set to fall. As a result, global CO2 emissions from electricity generation are expected to plateau to 2025 and its CO2 intensity will further decline in the coming years.

The report concludes by discussing the challenges and opportunities for electricity security in a world where both the demand and supply of electricity are becoming increasingly weather-dependent. It points out that the energy crisis has renewed interest in the role of nuclear power in contributing to energy security and reducing the CO2 intensity of power generation, especially in Europe and the United States. It also stresses that the substantial growth of renewables will need to be accompanied by accelerated investments in grids and flexibility for their successful integration into the power systems. Finally, it warns that the world’s power systems will face more risks from extreme weather events, such as droughts, heatwaves, storms and floods, which can affect both the supply and demand of electricity.

So, given how conservative the IEA has traditionally been when it comes to its predictions of the future growth of renewables, I think their prediction of renewables growth to 35% by 2025 is very positive, seeing as that implies will reach 35% well before then!

IEA (2023), Electricity Market Report 2023, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/electricity-market-report-2023, License: CC BY 4.0

CO2 emissions vs income

CO2 vs GNP 1975-2002

I generated this graph on Prof Hans Rosling’s Gapminder.org site.

The data shows, somewhat surprisingly that the increase in carbon emissions in countries like Ireland and the US from 1975 to 2002 are not in any way mirrored by any increases in China or India.

In the recent Bali talks (and the Kyoto talks before that) the US held up the developing countries as major polluters and refused to sign Kyoto (and created all kinds of fuss at Bali) because of the amounts of pollution being emitted by developing countries.

This is obviously delaying tactics for Bush’s friends in the oil business in Texas and Saudi. The US Ambassador to Ireland conceded that China may exceed the US’s total emissions in 2008. Compare the income per capita between the US and China again and even if Chinese total emissions do exceed the US in 2008, they are still far less polluting per capita than the US.

And the Chinese were looking for a stronger agreement at Bali than the US.

The sooner Bush and his oil cronies are out of office, the sooner we can move on with trying to clean up the planet.