Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

Global Futures Report 2013 - Box 9

51 Box 9 | Solar PV for Rural (Off-Grid) Areas “Solar PV is already becoming competitive with diesel genera- tors, which represents a real revolution in off-grid electricity,” said one Indian expert, who believed that off-grid markets for solar PV will become firmly established within five years once rural service infrastructure develops and business models become better proven. Many other experts pointed to the huge proliferation of mobile phones in rural areas and the need for charging by potentially hundreds of millions of rural house- holds. “People walk miles to charge mobile phones,” said one expert, who envisioned the proliferation of cheap solar mobile phone chargers becoming a significant turning point in the use of solar PV. There are already many examples today of such markets, such as the well-known Grameen programs in Bangladesh for rural mobile phones and solar PV. Other experts expected major new markets in street and security lighting. Markets for rural solar lighting systems for households have been growing since the 1990s in many developing countries as part of the “access” agenda by governments, utilities, and rural development agencies. Source: See Endnote 57 for this chapter. localization—requiring local content in renewable energy projects as a means to promote manufacturing and jobs. But they debated whether localization will produce higher costs, and what it would mean in practice. Experts also saw renewable energy increasingly integrated into universities, vocational and engineering schools, and public education programs by consumer organizations.47 Following are projections for individual technology markets across developing countries.48 n Hydropower represents a majority of the existing power genera- tion in many developing countries. In all scenarios, hydropower con- tinues to grow strongly in developing countries. For Latin America, the Brazil National Energy Plan (2009) shows hydropower almost doubling by 2030 to 150 GW. Other Latin America regional projec- tions for 2030 include 170 GW (Greenpeace, 2012) and 240 GW (World Bank, 2011). For Asia, Greenpeace (2012) shows non-OECD Asia (minus China) reaching 100 GW by 2050, and APEC/ADB (2009) projects hydro continuing to grow in the Asia-Pacific region by an average of 3% annually through 2030. For Africa, projections by 2050 include 50 GW (Greenpeace, 2012) and 150 GW (IRENA, 2012).49 n Small hydropower, a subset of the overall hydro market, has been growing much faster than large hydro in many countries. As one example, the Brazil National Energy Plan (2009) shows small hydro doubling to 9 GW by 2030.50 n Traditional biomass is already a major source of energy in developing countries, primarily “traditional biomass” for heating andcookinginruralareas.Expertsforesawoneofthemostimportant future trends in developing countries to be the continued and accelerating shift away from traditional biomass cookstoves to more modern forms of stoves and fuels, including efficient biomass cookstoves and stoves that burn biogas or biofuels.51 n Modern biomass use is growing in many developing countries, and experts foresaw expansion of several key markets in the coming decades, including: (1) expanding wood chip/pellet markets in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka; (2) greater use of biogas for cooking, heating, and elec- tricity generation in countries such as Nepal, Vietnam, and Kenya (in addition to markets in China and India); and (3) continued expansion of modern biomass power generation and cogeneration (combined heat and power) in countries such as Brazil, the Philippines, and Thailand, as well as throughout Africa—including in Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.52 n Wind power was expected to boom across many developing countries in the coming decade, said many wind industry experts. By 2011, a total of 39 developing countries had existing wind power capacity, including 11 countries in Africa/Middle East, 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and eight countries in Asia. Significant additions in 2011 occurred in Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Vietnam. By 2011, 35% of global wind power capacity existed in developing countries (including China and India), up from 10% in 2005.53 By 2030, scenarios show 80–95 GW of wind power in Africa (GWEC, 2012; IRENA, 2012), 100 GW in the Middle East, 130 GW in Latin America, and 210 GW in non-OECD Asia (Greenpeace, 2012).54 Expert statements also pointed to a coming wind power boom. “The next major expansions of wind markets will be to Latin America, including faster growth in Brazil, which is emerging as the next big player in wind power, and to a lesser extent to Africa, which is still hindered by lack of power grids,“ said one expert. “We might easily be surprised by developing country markets in the coming years, including Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, with much greater market diversification,” said a wind industry executive, who called existing projections for these regions “conservative.”55 n Solar PV and solar thermal power (CSP) markets have histori- cally been concentrated in a small number of countries. In 2011, fully three-quarters of global solar PV capacity existed in just 5 devel- oped countries. The share in developing countries was less than 6%. Experts insisted that this situation would not exist much longer, and that a major broadening of solar PV and CSP markets to developing countries will soon occur. By 2030, scenarios show 90 GW of solar PV and CSP in Africa (IRENA, 2012; Greenpeace, 2012), 260 GW in the Middle East, 100 GW in Latin America, and 260 GW in non-OECD Asia (Greenpeace, 2012).56 (See also solar PV and CSP in Chapter 6.) n Rural renewable energy for (off-grid) settlements and smaller island communities has been a prominent aspect of rural develop- ment for decades, especially for the hundreds of millions of house- holds still not served by central power grids. In particular, experts pointed to the continuing drive for more-efficient cookstoves that use traditional biomass as a central feature of rural energy futures. In off-grid areas, many renewable technologies today provide power for lighting and communications (for homes, schools, health care, and business); heat for space heating, cooking, and crop drying and processing; and motive-force for industrial fans, pumps, and equip- ment.57 (See also Box 9 below.) Future prospects for rural renewable energy include the continua- tion of these trends with solar PV, solar thermal, hybrid wind-solar- diesel systems, biogas, and biomass gasification. Experts continued to foresee these technologies used for so-called “productive uses,” in provision of water, health care, education, and small business services. This report cannot cover all of these applications, so also see the Rural Renewable Energy chapter in annual editions of the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report.58 05

Pages Overview