Australasia, North America, Strategic Development

COSPP News Mar/Apr 2005


NEWS SUMMARY
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US, Australia and developing countries needed to tackle climate change
High-level representatives from the US and Australia – countries that have rejected the Kyoto Protocol – have joined with Britain’s Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) More

On-site wind turbines for two industrial plants in the UK
Car manufacturer Nissan Motors is to have seven 750 kW wind turbines erected at its Washington, Tyne and Wear, site in north-east England.More

More money for US fuel cells, but not DG
Backing up his commitment to a budget that provides strong funding for hydrogen and fuel cells, President Bush has included US$322 million More

Unlocking potential for DG in Oregon
A draft report from the Oregon Public Utility Commission says that the US state should implement uniform technical standards and agreements for interconnecting small generators More



US, Australia and developing countries needed to tackle climate change

High-level representatives from the US and Australia – countries that have rejected the Kyoto Protocol – have joined with Britain’s Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) to campaign for international action to tackle climate change. The international task force, established by the Center for American Progress and the Australia Institute along with the ippr, has called on the G8 group of countries to create a ‘G8-Plus Climate Group’ to engage the US and major developing countries in action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The task force says that such a group would provide a way for G8 countries and other major economies – including India and China – to take action that would lead to large-scale reductions in emissions. The Group could pursue partnerships to achieve immediate deployment of existing low-carbon energy technologies.

The report also argues that all G8 countries should set a lead by adopting national targets to generate at least 25% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 and mandatory cap-and-trade schemes for emissions, like the EU scheme. In the US, this could happen through the Climate Stewardship Act, proposed by Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, and could provide a path for US re-entry into a global climate change agreement after the Kyoto Protocol’s first phase ends in 2012.

Global share climbs to 7.2% with improved prospects

The share of global electricity production held by decentralized energy technologies was last estimated in 2003 at 7%, according to the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE). The results of a new survey suggest that DE is making progress – albeit slow and uncertain so far – as Michael Brown reports.

The transition from a global electricity system dominated by central power, to one based on an effective hybrid of decentralized and central generation, has been long anticipated. WADE, among others, is convinced that such a transition will lead to lower electricity prices, a more reliable power system, less fossil-fuel use and a cut in carbon dioxide and other emissions. Indeed, an ever decreasing number of people appear to contest this view at all.

Given the growing realization that a steady growth in the relative share of DE generation in the overall mix is a desirable thing, one would expect it to be happening. WADE believes that the transition is now finally underway.

WADE started the task of quantifying DE market development in 2003. That year and in 2004, we produced the first two editions of the World Survey of Decentralized Energy. These were the first occasions that such quantitative assessments had been attempted, but their production faced a number of data-collection challenges that remain largely in place in 2005. In 2003 and 2004, WADE’s analysis came to the view that the overall market share had remained static, and our research among some of the world’s major industry players in this sector confirmed this assessment. 2002 and 2003 were certainly not buoyant years for international cogeneration, the main constituent part of DE.

Despite ongoing difficulties in data collection, WADE has produced a third report, the Worldwide DE Survey – 2005, that contains a substantial amount of updated information and analysis, based on new data and assessments derived from the market knowledge of WADE and its members, among others. This 2005 Survey aims to provide a snapshot of industry development at the end of 2004 by quantifying the development of DE and the degree to which the market has grown in recent years. Data is to be treated with some caution, but we believe that our analysis is the best currently available.

ASSESSING GLOBAL DE GROWTH

WADE’s World Survey of DE 2004 concluded that around 7% of annual global power generation at the end of 2002 was based on DE. In the absence of any indication otherwise, WADE assumed that this equated also to around 7% of installed capacity, or about 260 GWe worldwide. To assess overall DE market share at the end of 2004, WADE: