Tuesday, September 17, 2013
UN presents Sustainable Energy for All initiative
You might be shocked to learn that 1.3 billion people on this planet still live without access to electricity. Another 2.7 billion still cook their food over open fires – fires that spew carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Of these “off-the-gridders,” approximately 95% reside in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
So, what can we do?
The United Nations is recommitting to universal energy with its most recent initiative, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), and over 70 countries have already joined! Goals include doubling renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030. But are these goals lofty enough?
Climate experts have warned that if surface temperatures continue to rise at their current rates, 2030 will be too late. By then, we might already be engulfed in another ice age. Or drowned in new oceans. Or poisoned by too much carbon dioxide in the air.
Twenty years also happens to be a long, long time for the underprivileged in Asia and Africa to wait to join the rest of the 21st century. They need electricity to light and heat their homes. To power their schools and hospitals. To protect their crops. To keep businesses opens.
In order to reach their goals, the International Energy Agency claims that 90% of new electricity will have to be produced via decentralized, renewable sources.
Basically – going off-grid can save the world, if done properly.
Past failures can mainly be attributed to poor business planning, such as oversight concerning indigenous training and maintenance costs for green energy projects that, sometimes, can take years to implement properly. Or, projects have targeted one demographic of the population and scaled it up for the global market without considering the varied needs of people who live in very different environments, climates, etc.
The SE4All initiative admits there’s no single approach to providing the underprivileged with reliable access to electricity. First, you have to understand the native culture and socio-political landscape. Some tribes refuse to use stoves since it gives the food a strange new taste.
It’s going to take a lot to ensure SE4All and other future energy initiatives are successful. Luckily, NRGLab has spent years strategizing with today’s top minds on how best to meet the needs of the many. With a diverse slate of projects – from the carbon-free, portable SH-Box generator, to the SV-Turbine for biomass gasification – NRGLab wants to ensure a greener future. A better tomorrow.
For more information, visit nrglab.asia.
[ sustainable energy, access to electricity, carbon emissions, International Energy Agency, SE4All, SV-Turbine, nrglab, nrglab ash-box, alternative energy, UN, The United Nations ]