IPCC study highlights importance of renewable energy for developing countries

By Neil Townsend, CEO, Just Energy

May 23rd, 2011

I was encouraged to read some of the findings of the IPCC’s recent study into the possibility of renewable energy meeting the world’s growing energy needs. The IPCC, the UN’s climate change science body, found that renewable energy could contribute to 80% of the world’s energy supply within four decades.

To achieve that level, governments must put renewable energy centre stage since it is public policies that will either expand or constrain renewable energy development over the coming decades.

As reported by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewables are already of increasing importance to the investment community, with global investment in low-carbon energy reaching a record $243 billion in 2010, double the level of 2005.

The IPCC study also found that investing in renewables can help poor countries to develop, particularly where large numbers of people lack access to an electricity grid, a point that underscores the relevance and importance of Just Energy as an organisation seeking to enable low income communities to produce renewable energy on a commercial scale.

Ramon Pichs, co-chair of one of the key IPCC working groups, said: “Developing countries have an important stake in the future – this is where most of the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity live yet also where some of the best conditions exist for renewable energy deployment.”

As Just Energy’s three wind farm projects in South Africa get closer to overcoming their respective technical and regulatory challenges, our vision of community-owned projects that will bring real multiple benefits – greater energy supply, reduction of carbon emissions, local development support and improved agricultural production – gets one step closer to a reality.

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