Arquivo de etiquetas: energia e desenvolvimento

Energy and Development V

Sustainable Energy for All

We’ve been talking in this lecture about the challenges of energy poverty and how they relate to the challenges of poverty more generally. We’ve also discussed the imperative of combining the fight against poverty and the fight against uncontrolled climate change. These can’t be put in chronological sequence or prioritized that fighting poverty comes first and climate change comes later, because as I emphasized in the previous chapter, if climate change runs out of control, if we continue with the business-as-usual path, our hopes of even basic food security, much less an escape from poverty are going to be dashed.

I’ve emphasized therefore the importance of putting the poverty agenda within a context more generally of sustainable development. Fighting poverty is part of the larger cause of sustainable development.

And in this chapter I want to put it the other way, that fighting climate change also is part of that larger effort. To have success in 2015 in COP21 in Paris, we’re going to need success at the United Nations in September 2015 in adopting a set of sustainable development goals or SDGs, which will frame exactly that holistic approach in which fighting poverty, fighting for social inclusion of women and minorities and the poor, and fighting against uncontrolled climate change are all combined into an integrated and holistic framework. 2015 is indeed a period of extraordinarily interesting and complex negotiations.

851Remember, you’re going to be a delegate to the climate negotiations in the global online negotiation that will take place at the beginning of 2015. But let’s note that there are three big negotiations that need to be completed successfully in 2015 and each plays off of the other and depends on the success of the others. Paris we know comes at the end of the year. Before Paris comes the negotiation on sustainable development goals in 2015 in September at the United Nations.

And even before that, in July 2015, will come the first major summit, diplomatically for next year and that is the Conference on Financing for Sustainable Development which will take place in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. What is that conference about?

That conference is to help find the ways that poor countries can access electricity, the ways that we can help to finance the research, development and demonstration of new technologies for low-carbon energy. The way that we can help to compensate countries that experience significant climate losses, a principle that was agreed in COP19 in Warsaw, last year, that losses and damages from climate change should be compensated.

So we’ll have a conference on finance, we’ll have a conference on sustainable development in general and then we’ll have the COP21 in Paris at the end of 2015. I’m excited about sustainable development being the overarching framework. I think this is right. And I think that it is a proper intellectual framing of our interconnected challenges, but also a proper framing from the point of finding a way through the complexity that confronts us now. Of course the idea of sustainable development has been around for a quarter century. And I’m delighted to have an online course available for your viewing pleasure, The Age of Sustainable Development, to look at this concept in more detail. But here in chapter five of lecture eight I want to stress how the framing of sustainable development will help to shape the climate and energy discussions in the coming year and then of course in the years beyond.

Back in 2012 at the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, remember that the Earth Summit is where the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change was first adopted. On the twentieth anniversary the conferees looked at the results of the UNFCCC and of the other two big treaties that had been adopted at Rio, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification and they said, these are good documents, we still live by them, but we’re not getting the, the global buy-in, the political will, the public energy and commitment that’s needed really to implement these three treaties. And they looked at the quite different process of the Millennium Development Goals which are not legally binding; they’re not a treaty. They were adopted as a spirit of the world, as a commitment of the world, but not in a legally binding way back in September 2000, at the start of the new millennium. So in 2012 the conferees at the twentieth anniversary of the Earth Summit said, hmm, if those MDGs are, they’re working.

They’re drawing the world’s attention to the plight of extreme poverty and to the ways that we can address and solve and overcome extreme poverty. Why don’t we use a similar mechanism, not to replace the Framework Convention on Climate Change, not to undermine the treaties, but to complement the treaties by helping to bring the challenges of sustainable development more generally to the world’s attention. And they called on the U.N. General Assembly to adopt a concise set of sustainable development goals that would cover the three main dimensions of sustainable development.

Fighting poverty and promoting economic development, dimension one. Promoting social inclusion of women and minorities especially in insuring the human rights of all individuals, of access to public services as number two. And environmental sustainability of which controlling climate change is by far the most urgent as number three. And those three dimensions of sustainable development, they noted back in 2012 need to be girded by a fourth crucial dimension and that is good governance and global partnership. So in that spirit, the 2012 twentieth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit passed the baton to the U.N. General Assembly and said, come up with a concise set of sustainable development goals that will incorporate the fight against poverty, the fight against climate change, and the other crucial aspects of sustainable development.

852I’m happy to say that the U.N. General Assembly took this challenge on fully and has now been in two years of intensive analysis and negotiation about the sustainable development goals. And there is a, an increasingly strong chance indeed that a concise set of SDGs will be adopted in September 2015, just a few months ahead of the Paris COP21. For a while it was thought this could conflict, this could make things complicated.

But I think by now the governments understand that the two processes are complementary. They’re not contradictory. And climate change will be part of both the sustainable development goals and the COP21, not that one will negotiate different targets and different ambitions, but rather within the sustainable development context the world will reconfirm its commitment to the framework convention and to the decisions that are to be taken in Paris to ensure that in the 15 years between 2016 and 2030 in which these new sustainable development goals are the world’s guideposts, climate change will be one of the headlines of that new global commitment.

So we are now in the middle of the process of adopting sustainable development goals and I think the process is working well for exactly the themes that I’ve been discussing in this eighth lecture. Recently the working group of the General Assembly has put out a provisional list of some of these sustainable development goals. And while I won’t go through the whole list, I want to highlight some of the main conclusions of the two years of negotiation that have been underway.

First, there is general agreement that goal number one of the SDGs, SDG  number one will be end poverty. End poverty in all its forms by the year 2030. And specifically in terms of measurement, what this means is that the World Bank’s poverty line which is a $1.25 per person per day for extreme poverty. That using that line we should be able to get to near zero in terms of the proportions of households still stuck below poverty from the roughly one billion people today under the World Bank poverty line to near zero. But helpfully, as with the Millennium Development Goals, these sustainable development goals will define ending extreme poverty not only income terms, but in many other forms as well. In terms of food security, health security, schooling for children, access to safe water and sanitation, access to modern energy services, these will all be part of the commitment to ensure that everybody’s basic needs are met by the world economy as of 2030, whether through markets or whether through government or other kinds of social help, the basic needs of everybody should be met and achieved by the year 2030.

Goal number two on this new list of the U.N. General Assembly open working group is to end hunger, to ensure food security. Now remember, as we just discussed, if climate change is running rampant; this is going to be an absolutely forlorn and failed ambition. We’re going to have to improve productivity of agriculture but at the same time, ensure that the consequences of runaway climate change are, are not seen.

Goal number three of the proposed list is to ensure health for all. That’s access to health services. That means electricity in the health clinics. It means emergency transport to those health clinics. It means modern information systems, also requiring electricity,so that those clinics can run effectively. It means environmental health as well. It means that people are not choking and dying of indoor air pollution or the particulate pollution of coal fire power plants and the smog of Asia’s cities. And so again, the interconnection of the health agenda and the safe energy and climate change mitigation agendas.

Goal number four, ensure inclusive and equitable education for all children. Again, information technology, electricity in the classroom can play a very, very big role in this. And there are lots of innovations possible to bring education and information to places that right now don’t have a book but could have the world of online information opened to them.

Goal number six proposed by the open working group is to ensure access to water and sanitation. Once again, modern energy services of pumped water, solar irrigation, solar systems for water safety, even for desalination in some locations will be part of water security and therefore intertwined with energy services.

Proposed goal number seven of the open working group is specifically about universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

This is good. Energy is put straight on the table. And the commitment to ending energy poverty as one of the most powerful tools to raising human well-being and ending other forms of poverty is now clear and it’s linked also strongly to climate change mitigation through the very strong emphasis on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, perhaps carbon capture and sequestration or other, other potential solutions.

But the point is, energy for all in a way that is compatible with the 2-degree centigrade carbon budget. Notably, proposed goal thirteen is on climate change itself. This is extremely important as I’ve been emphasizing, climate change is one of the absolute core aspects of sustainable development. This was contentious within the open working group. For a while many governments said, “don’t put in a separate goal on climate change because we have the climate change negotiations that will come just after the sustainable development goals are adopted.” But that was not really the correct way to think about this challenge.

The sustainable development goals will apply for a 15-year period, for the years 2016 to 2030. Therefore, during that whole period the signal, the message much go out to the whole world that to achieve sustainable development we need to achieve climate change mitigation. We need to honor the 2-degree centigrade goal. And the governments came to understand that the sustainable development goals are not the place to negotiate the climate change details. There’ll be enough negotiations under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, thank you, during 2015 not to confuse the negotiations with yet another venue. But the governments did come to understand that of course climate change needs to be a headline within the sustainable development goals because the sustainable development goals are not legally binding treaties, they’re not the UNFCCC substitute. They are the guideposts. They’re the compass for the world. And climate change must be there to remind the, the world every day that to achieve sustainable development, we must achieve climate change control.

And finally, I want to emphasize that the poor countries have been saying throughout these negotiations, “well that’s all fine and good, we like that goal on ending poverty. We definitely want energy services. But how, how is this going to be done?” And the poor countries have insisted therefore that one of the goals be on what is called in the jargon, the means of implementation. And this is the same jargon used in the climate negotiations as well. Where is the money on the table when it’s needed? How will research and development be financed? How can we ensure that impoverished populations, that by themselves cannot afford crucial needs on a market basis, are nonetheless availed of those needs whether it’s healthcare or access to energy, that through public services as a crucial way to meet their human needs.

And so the commitment needs to be made together with the broad aspirations that the ways to actually achieve those goals is found in terms of financing, in terms of requisite technology, in terms of building local capacities and expertise and education of the next generation of sustainable development leaders, of trade policies that facilitate these solutions, of the partnerships that are needed and of systems of data monitoring and feedback to make sure that we stay on track and when we get off track, the alarm bells go off to say we’re not achieving the goals that we have set ourselves, we have to push back onto that path.

And these are the same means of implementation that will be needed in Paris in December 2015. It will be one thing to state goals; it will be another thing to lay out pathways on how to achieve the goals.

But then there will have to be clarity about how those goals, those aspirations, those pathways can actually be achieved and issues of finance, trade, monitoring will be front and center on the climate negotiations just as they are on the sustainable development goal negotiations.

Finally, let me talk about the means of implementation specifically on energy for the poor.

One thing is clear from the experience of bringing healthcare to all that has been very successful during the Millennium Development Goal period.

For the poorest of the poor, we need to give a bit of help. For people who have nothing, asking them to buy the energy services that they need or the healthcare is a route to failure.

We need to recognize that for the poorest people in the world, an added hand-up, a helping hand, to achieve these goals is vital. In the case of healthcare, a big innovation was to create the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria back in 2002.

That provided some of the financing to ensure that even impoverished populations could gain access to lifesaving health technologies. I believe that we need a similar global fund for energy for all.

That the idea that this will come only through market forces could be right for even six-sevenths of the world’s population, but for the poorest of the poor, we’re going to need to do more.

We also know in the context of climate change mitigation, but also in the context of overcoming energy poverty that research and development is crucial. And research and development intrinsically is both a public and a private initiative for some of those breakthroughs in off-grid, or microgrid energy, or in tapping geothermal power, or in new forms of mobilizing solar power for irrigation and so on. Research and development can lead to significant advances and this needs to be on the list of the to-dos to end energy poverty.

We know that we’re going to need large-scale investment, $50 or $60 billion dollars for example for Inga Falls. That’s not going to come out of public money, that is going to come out of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance company funds.

And so we’re going to need institutional cooperation to channel private sector funds, perhaps with some public guarantees or some public insurance or some public sector participation in order to be able to fund the large-scale solar grids of west Africa or the large-scale hydropower grids of central Africa or the large-scale natural gas networks that could power east Africa in the coming decades.

And finally we know that all of these efforts require both the market forces, companies out for a profit, companies out to look for new innovation through market-driven incentives, as well as the cooperation of government and civil society, guided by these broad global goals.

In other words, projects like Inga Falls or projects like overcoming extreme energy poverty in Africa are complex tasks that require a considerable amount of project design, a high degree of cooperation across every major stakeholder group from the local communities, the national governments, the African Union, the international private sector, international financial institutions and the U.N. agencies.

It’s a hard job. That cooperation is vital for success. It’s at the heart of the call to end energy poverty; it’s at the very heart of the challenge of sustainable development itself.

Energy and Development IV

How Climate Change Threatens the Poorest of the Poor

And we continue on the discussion about energy poverty, overall poverty and how energy services can help Africa in particular escape from chronic poverty.

Now I’ve been privileged to be special advisor to first United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and now to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals.

The commitments that were made in the year 2000 to help Africa and other poor regions of the world end extreme poverty. And I have been every day trying as best I can to make the point that ending poverty is within reach. And it should be both a moral and practical commitment for the world.

841In recent years I’ve been emphasizing also the importance of the battle against climate change. And it’s been interesting for me that on occasion I’ve been asked, though less frequently now than say a year or two ago, why am I putting emphasis on climate change, why not continue to focus on poverty? Don’t dilute the message, I’ve been told. When the sustainable development goals were first proposed some poverty activists said, let’s not go there to sustainable development, environment and other issues. Those are not our priority, our priority has to be to end extreme poverty.

Well I want to spend a few minutes in this chapter explaining why that point of view is understandable, but not correct. And indeed once one reflects on the enormity of the burdens that climate change is already imposing on the poorest people in the world and on the devastation that climate change can potentially impose on the poor regions of the world, you come to a very, very different conclusion. And the conclusion is, even if you’re focus is only on ending extreme poverty and that’s a pretty plausible focus of high moral and practical priority, climate change should be front and center of your concern.

I’ll put it this way, there is no way in the world that we’re going to end extreme poverty and no way in the world that if we even temporarily end it that it will stay gone if climate change runs rampantly out of control. If we exceed the 2-degree Celsius limit, if we continue on the business-as-usual path, I shudder for the consequences for Africa.

All of the hopes of the Millennium Development Goals, all of the progress that is being achieved now will easily be swept aside and tragically be swept aside by the consequences of climate change.

842This is not a hypothetical warning. And it’s not one that I make casually or idly or because you’re taking a class on climate change. It’s because I see it with my own eyes and of course it’s not just me, it is Africans who are feeling already the derangement of their climate and the incredibly severe consequences that result from that. It’s quite obvious that if you live on the edge of survival, that shocks can push you right over the edge. And when you see the consequences of a drought such as the Sahel experienced in 2012 and such as is seen by this farmer standing by a dead camel who died of lack of water in Chad and this view, this, this scene has been repeated so many countless times across the region, one begins to understand the reality.

All through Africa and especially through the drylands, which are the most vulnerable part of the world to climate change in this phase that we’re in right now, places that already by virtue of their longstanding climate always have the risk of drought and famine, are being pushed into disasters of increasing frequency and intensity.

843And moreover, because of rapid population growth in these countries, demographic pressures that are rising and rainfall that is declining is cutting these societies. Like the blades of a scissors, they’re caught between these two very powerful trends. And the result is a tremendous amount of dislocation of populations. Here are refugees from the Sahel drought and with the tents set up of migrants trying to escape from the drought in Niger. But this kind of phenomenon of people on the move, trying to survive in the face of ecological shocks is something that we have seen repeatedly and with the devastation in many parts of drylands Africa. Somalia. A country that is so bereft of basic resources with water at the start, and energy resources next, that it has not even been able to maintain a government intact for more than two decades has faced repeated droughts in recent years.
Part of a long-term decline of overall rainfall and because of warming temperatures and overall increase of evaporation of the water and therefore the drying of the soil moisture. In 2012-13, there were more displaced populations. This is a Somali mother and her children that have fled across the border to Kenya. They’re in a refugee camp, waiting for some emergency help. And this massive stream of refugees across the Somalia border to Kenya has been very destabilizing.

We work in northeast Kenya in a village area near the city of Garissa. There is a tremendous increase of violence, of lawlessness, of theft of livestock, of insecurity. And this is the pervasive spillovers when one experiences famine and drought and populations on the move as a result of this.

844This is a map of the United Nations. It’s an unfortunately and increasingly typical map. It shows the extreme drought conditions in two 2011 in Somalia, in the horn of Africa. This kind of map is of the Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Assistance, OCHA. And it’s the basis typically of an emergency appeal.

We need a hundred million, three hundred million dollars to help people survive the, just the latest ecological catastrophe. Well the experience is that the world doesn’t respond. Sometimes it’s called donor fatigue, although I’m not so sure how much fatigue you can get if you don’t try very hard.

845But the fact of the matter is that not only are these shocks coming in increasing frequency, but they are not met with the kind of emergency response that is commensurate with the scale of the challenge. Now the climate science tells us that it is these dryland regions that have already experienced significant declines of soil moisture, significant increases of drought frequency and severity.

Declines in many cases of overall precipitation levels. And this is one example of very notable study of a few years ago of changing drought conditions using something called the Palmer Drought Severity Index, or PDSI. And this is showing increasing drought severity during the historical period of 1950 to 2008.

Look at how much of Africa is covered by pinks and reds and purples, signifying a chronic increase of drought severity during this period. When climate models are used to project forward, the likelihood of drought severity, the picture is absolutely terrifying. These models measure estimated changes of precipitation, or projected changes of precipitation. And changes of soil moisture as the result of the higher rates of evaporation and transpiration of water in the soil.

Transpiration means the water that exits the leaves of plants, sometimes the evaporation and the transpiration are combined into the term, evapotranspiration. And what we have is declining precipitation, declining rainfall and rising potential evapotranspiration, meaning that whatever comes to the ground returns as water vapor to the atmosphere much more quickly. And the result is a chronic drying of the soils. And that chronic drying of the soils of course can have devastating effects on crop productivity.

So many studies now take the climate estimates of temperature and evapotranspiration and other climate phenomena, for example, likelihood of heat waves, or likelihood of dry spells and use those data to with the, the randomness and the uncertainty attached to them as inputs to estimates of crop production, through so-called crop models.

And those then give us a sign of where we should worry about changing crop productivity. And again, here is a map based on such a study which starts with the climate change 846models and then feeds them through crop models.

And where you see red, dark red means a decrease of crop production with high confidence of the model, saying that the model is really signaling with very high probability a decline of crop productivity. Or in just a bit lighter red, a decrease with medium confidence. And you can see that a very large part of tropical Africa is caught in that band. Not just tropical Africa, we see that large swaths of South America, of North America, of India, Australia, the Mediterranean basin, are all facing these challenges.

That’s why we’re here trying to understand how to stay below the 2-degree centigrade. But it’s why the idea that climate change is extraneous or ancillary or secondary to the concern about poverty misses the point.

How is Africa going to feed itself in a world of unconstrained climate change? The answer is there is no good answer. This map that you’re looking at is for the 2030s. Let me forward towards the end of the century on a business-as-usual trajectory. It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying because many of the food centers of the world show up in bright red. What the models are telling us is that the decline of soil moisture combined with the direct effects of higher temperatures, which by themselves reduce the photosynthetic productivity put in realistic possibility a massive crisis of food production.847

Step back and remind ourselves that we’re at 7.2 billion people now. But the  world population is continuing to rise by 75 to 80 million people every year. And by the 2080s or 2090s, we could well have 10 billion people in the world, facing a food  production catastrophe coming from unconstrained climate change

The point I think is clear, there is no way to fight poverty except by also fighting climate change. We need to put these two core needs and imperatives for the world together. That is the whole principle of sustainable development. We need a holistic approach and it is only by a holistic approach that we can find our way through this very serious bottleneck. If we do so, there is high potential at the other end with all of our technologies the ability to escape from poverty is in hand, but only if climate change is brought under control.

Energy and Development III

Energy for All in Africa

I’m continuing on the discussion about energy services for the poor. How to end energy poverty and thereby to help end poverty overall. And I’ll continue with the focus on tropical Africa which we’ve seen is a region that has a lot of poverty, but also a lot of potential where technology is now enabling Africa to break free of its chronic low levels of modern energy services.

And in this chapter I’d like to discuss some of the continent scale solutions that can be at hand given the advances of energy technologies.

831If you look at the maps here, you see a depiction of energy potential from four types of very much underdeveloped energy resources within the African continent.831

In the map on the upper left we see the hydropower potential. And I want to draw your attention to the country right in the middle of the continent, the one that is shown as having the highest hydro potential. 831hThat’s the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Congo River that offers a potential for a vast supply of hydroelectric power, but a supply that has not yet been tapped given the poverty, the disorganization, the chronic wars and violence and the difficulties of regional cooperation. I’ll return to that shortly.

If you look at the upper right-hand map, you see a corner of Africa, especially in the northeast, where there is considerable wind power potential.831w And some of that wind power is now being developed. If you look at the northwest corner, of Morocco, you see another place with tremendous wind power, even enough wind power not only to meet Morocco’s own needs, but potentially to export to Europe through long distance power transmission.

On the lower left-hand side, the continent is filled with high potential to solar power. Not surprising. 831sAfrica is tropical, it has a tremendous amount of solar radiation. And much of Africa is a dryland climate, meaning that cloud cover is relatively low and therefore solar radiation and the potential for solar energy is commensurately high. And solar power is perhaps one of the greatest breakthroughs that is possible in some of the very, very poorest parts of the world, and especially in west Africa, the Sahel, a region that we’ll look at in just a moment in more detail.

And then finally and very interestingly, if you look at a, the band of countries from Egypt in the north of Africa, shaded here in light blue, through Sudan, through the great lakes region, including Kenya, the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, and going down into southern Africa you see a potential area of high geothermal energy.831g

What is that region? That is the Great Rift Valley of Africa. It is part of the spreading continental plates that open the access of countries along the Rift Valley to potentially very large amounts of geothermal energy. And this is now beginning to be tapped in very promising ways in Kenya, in Tanzania, in Rwanda and a lot more can be done.

All of this is to say that while Africa was poor in coal resources, the decisive primary energy source of the 19th Century and relatively poor or at least with undiscovered potential of hydrocarbons during the 20th Century, because of technological advances in renewable energy, in wind and in solar power, in geothermal, and because of increased know-how and potential on hydropower, Africa has within the continent itself a tremendous potential for a massive advance in electrification.

This is a picture of a, a power generation, hydropower at Inga Falls along the Congo River. There is a small amount of electricity being produced at this site of high hydropower potential in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But since the mid-1960s it’s been recognized that if this hydropower were tapped in full, there’s actually one of the world’s largest hydroelectric power potentials available at the Grand Inga Falls.

832Current estimates say that between 40 and 50 billion watts of hydropower are potentially available here. And by developing this hydropower, Inga Falls could transform the prospects of central Africa, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, of the Republic of Congo, of Rwanda, Burundi, and other neighboring countries that have been largely bereft of modern energy sources and electrification, but could tap into a regional grid. Of course it’s a big project.

It’s a project that perhaps requires 50 or 60 billion dollars of investment. That’s not a huge sum in macroeconomic terms. Projects like that are developed all over the world. But it is a lot of money to flow to central Africa which is a region of poverty and of instability. It’s an example of a highly promising, but rather complex project which would require regional cooperation, a regional power transmission system, regional governance because it’s pretty clear that investors are not going to turn 50 or 60 billion dollars over to the DRC or to any particular government in the region.

But it’s an example of the kind of project that if we think in a creative way, with the design of creative, multinational institutions, could get developed and could make a, an absolutely decisive difference in the, for the economies and the people of the region.

834It turns out that when one maps the potential for such large-scale projects throughout Africa, they now exist in many places with the specific local energy context taken into account. In this map created by my colleague, Professor Vijay Modi of Columbia University, he’s analyzed the areas of high potential hydropower, shown in the big blue circles, the biggest of which is Inga Falls.

Of wind power shown by the green circles on the map. And the regions of high solar energy. And across that oval of the Sahel, Professor Modi is indicating the extraordinary importance of solar power for that long stretch of very impoverished, semi-desert countries of west Africa. Mali, Niger, Chad are countries that have very, very low access to electricity but the one thing they have complete access to is sunshine.834a

And the potential now to tap the solar power of the Sahel, both at a very small scale in highly distributed microgrids or even individual solar panels for individual households and on large grid basis using concentrated solar thermal technology or massive arrays of photovoltaic fields is now at hand, given the dramatic changes of prices that have occurred for solar energy in recent decades.

835Remember that the cost of a one-watt solar cell has declined from about $77 per watt back in the late 1970s to about .70-cents per watt today by a decline of a factor of 100. And this makes it possible that in a very poor region with massive solar radiation like the Sahel there could be a mass electrification just in a few years. One of the most exciting discoveries of resources in Africa in recent years has been findings of natural gas deposits off the coast of east Africa.

Normally I wouldn’t be so thrilled with another hydrocarbon find. We’ve been emphasizing that we can’t use all the hydrocarbons we have in the world.

836That many of the hydrocarbons, the unconventional oil and gas and the, the preponderance of coal can never safely be used in the world, certainly not within the 2-degree Celsius budget. But when we’re talking about impoverished countries that contribute basically nothing of significance to the global scale challenge, a find of energy resources in those places that would enable impoverished economies to escape from the trap of poverty must be greeted with enthusiasm.

And I think that the world as it negotiates next year at COP21 will have to be clear that while many fossil fuel resources will have to be stranded, that should not occur and certainly not be mandated in the poorest of the poor in the world, when these resources make possible a decisive breakthrough out of extreme poverty.

837Well the, the biggest of these finds has been in that green circle that one sees off of the east coast of Africa, Mozambique has been identified as a place with the, perhaps, a hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore and available for development. And this again, like the Inga Falls project or like the large-scale solar energy potential of the Sahel, will require a complex analysis and project design and implementation to make it possible to use these resources for Africa’s true long-term benefit.

Why do I say this? Because the natural thing to do when gas or oil is discovered off the coast of an impoverished country has been to develop that resource and ship it off to a major market. And indeed, the first impulse of the oil companies that have discovered these large natural gas deposits off the coast of Mozambique and Tanzania has been to say, well let’s bring it to shore in a pipeline.

We’ll liquefy it, put it on a tanker, and send it to China. And the idea has been that with these vast gas resources, that that can be another resource for China. We know the problems of that. We know the problems of emissions. But the other problem is that when energy is not used for domestic development but merely becomes an enclave economy for export to high income markets, the contribution of these energy resources to Africa’s own development are likely to be lost.

And so on second thought, some of the…these companies such as Eni, the Italian large oil and gas company has thought perhaps we ought to be thinking much harder about how those natural gas deposits can also be used fruitfully for east Africa’s own development. And with the Professor Modi having a close look at this, he’s identified ways that natural gas could play a role, fundamentally in enabling modern energy services throughout the entire eastern coast of, of Africa, running from Ethiopia and Somalia through Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and, and other countries.

Natural gas offers the potential in this region for electrification. It enables the potential for a petrochemical industry around fertilizers desperately needed by the poor, smallholder farmers of the region. Transport, instead of being dependent on import of petroleum, can run on natural gas. And of course safe cooking stoves to replace the three-stone cookstoves used throughout this region, could enable families to enjoy modern cooking services without the devastating smoke inhalation and lung disease that accompanies the, the daily cooking chores, currently.

The point is, think creatively. In this case, we worry less about the carbon dioxide emissions per se because on a global scale they’d still be very small. But the transformative potential for this region of economic development is absolutely huge. And that’s why when we’re facing the challenges of the poorest of the poor, we have to give due attention to the core of their economic development needs.

For those places in, especially in rural Africa, far from pipelines and, and grids and even potentially so, we also have highly distributed energy potential now such as depicted in one of my favorite projects of Professor Modi, the shared solar system where a village has its own power generation in a microgrid of solar panels depicted here, shown here in one of these microgrid systems. And from those solar panels there is a distribution throughout a village, connecting 20, 30, 40 households in the village and enabling those households to have electricity, to power lights, to power perhaps small refrigerators or food processing units, a sewing machine. Other small appliances.

To charge a mobile phone. To become more productive. To increase the quality of life. To share in the benefits of modern energy services even when living in remote rural areas. If we put the pieces together, tropical Africa, the region of the world that is the poorest and that suffers chronically from energy poverty has the potential for huge breakthroughs. And we see here three and we can add the fourth.

In the yellow oval across west Africa there is the vast potential for large-scale solar. In the blue circled in central Africa, there is the potential to tap into the massive hydropower of Inga Falls and other hydropower projects. And in the large pink oval, in the east of Africa there is the potential to tap into the large-scale natural gas reserves that have been discovered off the coast of east Africa.

Add to that the fourth potential for highly distributed renewable energy through solar power, wind power, geothermal and other potential and we see that we are on a threshold in which energy poverty can be brought to an end and thereby help Africa to bring overall income poverty to an end once and for all.

Energy and Development II

A World Without Modern Energy

Welcome to lecture eight, chapter two, where I want to talk about life in an economy without modern energy services. I want to do this to make it absolutely clear that for poor places in the world, our most important mission and goal is to increase access to modern energy.

Sometimes people say, oh who needs electricity? Who needs all of these frills of modern life? But it’s nothing like this. The life in places without access to electricity and other modern energy services are not the kind of life that people want or deserve in the 21st Century. I think about this often because I have the chance to visit and work in many very poor parts of the world and especially in very poor villages in rural Africa. And I have seen and I feel the burdens that come from that, especially when I fly home to Manhattan to an affluent neighborhood near Columbia University and I experience in daily life the benefits and conveniences that seem so remote in some of the poorest parts of the world. I’m almost, feel compelled to think about this almost every day when I get my breakfast. I get a bowl of cereal and I cut some fruit into it. Fruit from a refrigerator which has kept the fruit fresh and safe. I stick it in the microwave. Press a button and within a couple minutes, I have my breakfast. Truth be told, I press another button and there is a cup of coffee and of course that’s a super convenience, but when I think about it, in five minutes

I’ve accomplished what may take a woman, a mother in sub-Saharan Africa four or five hours of arduous labor to accomplish. A woman may start her day often walking many kilometers, carrying an incredibly heavy burden of fuel wood, which she has collected on her own. And I’ve tried lifting these, I can’t do it. And the burdens that this woman and millions like her start the day with are startling. And there is the walk maybe two or three or four times a day to get water in a jerry can or in a, you know bucket like this, carrying ten or fifteen kilograms of water on the woman’s head. Baby at the side, often a one-hour or two-hour walk to a water hole or to a water point. And often a wait of half an hour or an hour to get that water. And then the cooking starts. It’s not the press of the microwave button. It’s cooking over a three-stone stove. Arduous work. But also very dangerous. Look at the smoke in, in these two pictures of women using traditional cookstoves in, in Africa. That smoke we know from epidemiological studies claims more than a million lives a year of young children. It creates lung disease, infection and death of children from respiratory causes. Of course it impairs a mother who cooks every day under these conditions. And then after hours, the woman is out in the field. There’s no machinery there. There is no tractor. She has her hand hoe and she is perhaps weeding, bent over, hunched over. Again, I’ve tried it and one day is exhausting. I have to say, this is a woman’s life every day and it’s not a matter of an option for her to feed her household, for her to ensure some minimum level of food security for her children and for her family is arduous, hours a day.

It will be broken perhaps by another walk to the water hole, by collecting fuel wood late in the afternoon, by cooking again, late in the evening. Or perhaps by a long walk carrying a child to a clinic, if there is a clinic. This is a makeshift clinic of Medicins Sans Frontieres, of the famous NGO MSF, which provides emergency medical services in places that otherwise wouldn’t have it at all. But in places that I have been working over the past 15 years, mothers often carry a child, febrile in their arms, ten kilometers to a clinic.

That clinic when she arrives doesn’t have electricity, can’t run some most basic laboratory or diagnostic equipment because of, of the lack of electricity. Often there has been no cold chain maintained to preserve vaccines. And a child’s life of course is repeatedly imperiled and that’s why millions of children in, in such poor places die before their fifth birthday of causes that are 100% preventable at almost no cost. Think of the role of energy in all of this. No transport, no access to basic lab services or to being able to provide the medicines and this is what life is like when one doesn’t have electricity.

Then comes end of the day and perhaps the child’s able to read and do a little bit of homework in the dark with a kerosene light. It’s not only expensive but dangerous for fires inside the household. The quality of lighting on the eyes is, is not good, the fumes of course are also very debilitating. This is a day without modern energy services. And it’s a day of profound hardship, a day of risk, a day when a mosquito bite can cause an end of a child’s life because of lack of transport or lack of access to life-saving health services.

When a bite of food can also be life-threatening because there’s been no refrigeration, or proper care that could be taken to keep the food safe from various kinds of pathogens and disease.

This is what it means when one lives without modern energy services. That is the grim reality still for hundreds of millions of people.

But the extraordinarily positive side of the story is that advances of technology and finally some common sense and mobilization of the world around doing something about this can help people to break free of this energy poverty and by doing so, break free of the poverty trap more generally. F

or every one of the problems that I just described, there are low cost solutions. And what’s wonderful about them is that not only can these low cost solutions be made available to households, but if they are made available, they empower the households to be far more productive. Rather than spending hours a day in basic tasks, they enable mothers and fathers to focus their attention on important, highly productive work to earn higher incomes, to improve farm productivity, to help keep their children safer and in source and thereby to provide a major lever for ending poverty once and for all.

We know now through the creative design of many engineers during the past ten years much safer cookstoves.

It can be still woodburning cookstoves, but with much lower smoke, and therefore, much more household safety and much less need for wood. It can be this kind of LPG, liquefied petroleum gas cooking that you see here, which is clean burning and a lot more efficient for this woman depicted here.

Water can be pumped now at far lower cost and avoiding the hours that women across Africa now spend in fetching water or the children spend fetching water, rather than in being in school.

Water can be pumped through low cost solar powered pumps as depicted here. And these are being rapidly improved. A lot of them are being developed in India. And they are easily adapted to the African context .And the very low wattage illumination of LED bulbs and solar power with even a modest amount of battery storage is allowing for, for illumination through electricity rather than through kerosene. And the households greatly prefer this. Gentlemen like this reports to us in a village where we’re working that it has enabled him to increase his income tremendously. He can now work extra hours in the evening, productively in his tailoring activities and earn a lot of extra income and easily pay for the costs of the electricity services that he is now buying in, instead of the kerosene that he relied on before.

There is a lot of small equipment appropriate for smallholder farming, such as this two-wheel tractor. Again, adapted from India in a wonderful case of so-called South-South Technology Transfer, where technologies now are going to enable smallholder farmers in Africa to increase their yields, to cut back dramatically on the backbreaking labor and by doing so, to find their way out of poverty for the long term. I can’t help thinking about this every day. I hope that you will think about it as well. There are more than a billion people in the world that lack access to electricity. There are a billion people or more that lack access to safe cooking energy, cooking services of one form or another. And yet the solutions are at hand. And as I’ll describe in a later chapter of this lecture, there is now fortunately, not only the technology available but there is the growing political will and the realization that by ending energy poverty we can also help end income poverty once and for all.

Energy & Development I

Energy & Poverty

Welcome to Lecture eight on energy and development. In this lecture, I want to discuss not the high income and high energy using countries of the world, but the parts of the world that are poor and energy poor, those that use very little energy, emit very little of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases per person and yet are bearing the brunt of global climate change.

811Today I want to talk about the poorest of the poor. The poorest of the poor are a population of around one billion people, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of South Asia who consume very little modern energy, who emit very little greenhouse gas emissions through their economic activities and yet who ironically bear a huge amount of the brunt of human induced climate change. So it behooves us morally, practically, ethically as part of an overall concept of global sustainable development to focus our attention on those most in need, least responsible for global climate change, absolutely desperate for modern energy resources and right now not at the center of the negotiations certainly on climate change but needing their place at the table to say,”we’re part of this, we need modern energy, we need the world to help us face the challenges that haven’t come from our part, but have become our burden through what’s happening in other parts of the world.”

812To do this, let’s start in lecture one on the whole question of the relationship of energy and economic development. And I’ll start with this iconic picture known throughout the world. It’s a great satellite shot of NASA’s satellites looking at the night vision image of the earth. And of course what’s shown here in the lights are the places with nighttime electricity and we have a very vivid image of the eastern half of the United States in bright lights.

The western half, other than all the way on the west coast, California, being sparsely populated and America’s drylands. You see the bright lights of western Europe. You see the bright lights of Japan and coastal China. And the bright lights of the eastern seaboard of Australia. And the east coast of South America stretching from Rio and Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires and the strong economic development in that region. And you also see the vast preponderance of Africa, almost without night lights.

813There is a very thin strip of electrification in the very north of Africa, the northern African countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Egypt. There is the lights evident in South Africa. But in the whole tropical band of Africa, in between North Africa and South Africa you see very little of nighttime lights. And this is an extraordinary and very vivid demonstration of the fact that hundreds of millions of people, especially in rural Africa lack access to electricity and to other modern energy services.

We can see this in a less stylized and vivid way through a measure shown in this graphic of the amount of every use per capita in the world. And again, we see the very high use of energy in the United States and Canada and Australia and New Zealand, in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and the whole Arabian peninsula, in western Europe. But that strong area of tropical Africa where you see the greens and the blues in this depiction show that these are the countries with the absolutely lowest consumption of primary energy per capita in the world.

814Now this is a quite different map, but it looks almost the same in terms of the distribution across countries. This is a map of income per capita. And just as we have very high energy use per person in Canada and the United States and Australia and New Zealand and western Europe and Japan, here we see that these are of course the countries with the highest per capita gross domestic product in the world. And where is the poorest part of the world? Once again, it is tropical Africa. In between the northern African countries and South Africa, we see countries that are living where half the population and sometimes more is below the line of extreme poverty drawn by the World Bank at a $1.25 per person per day. Energy use and output per person and income per person all are very, very closely aligned in this world. And one can say indeed that access to modern energy is a fundamental necessity for having a modern economy.

815Primary energy use, access to electricity, access to other modern energy services for transportation, for home use, such as for cooking, for use in provisioning basic services such as clean water and sanitation, it is a sine qua non of economic development. It’s not surprising therefore that when we graph on the horizontal axis, again the income per person in countries and we graph on the vertical axis, the amount of energy per person, here measured as kilowatts per person, you find almost a straight line fitting through this scatter of countries.

On the lower left-hand side you have the poorest countries with the lowest energy consumption. And on the upper right-hand side you have the high income countries that also have high consumption per capita. This is verified in very detailed accounts, for example, the energy data that are produced annually by the International Energy Agency. And I want to draw your attention specifically to Africa. Now in the geographic classification used by the International Energy Agency, Africa in this table includes North Africa and South Africa. In a way therefore, it will tend to overstate the energy use in that tropical band which is the poorest part of the continent. But still the numbers are absolutely telling. We see that as of 2011 in the classifications use by the International Energy Agency, Africa is roughly one-seventh of the world’s population, about a billion people out of around seven billion. So Africa’s population share is 15% of the world total.

In terms of output, since Africa is poor, with low income per person, its total output is of course less than its population share. We tend to measure output when we want to make international comparisons at what are called purchasing power adjusted prices. So we look at the annual output in Africa or in any other part of the world, measured at international prices for the goods and services that are being valued. And when we use that classification, gross domestic product at purchasing power parity or the PPP that you see in the table, Africa’s economy in total is $2.8 trillion dollars according to the measures of the International Energy Agency. For the world as a whole, annual output, the gross world product at international prices was $70.3 trillion dollars. So Africa’s share of output was only 4% of world output compared to the population share of 15%. And now look at the columns on the right which measure total primary energy use and electricity consumption.

816For total primary energy measured as millions of tons of oil equivalent, taking all of the energy sources, putting them into an energy equivalence as tons of oil, we find that Africa had a total use of 700 million tons oil equivalent of energy compared to 13,000 million, 13 billion tons of oil equivalent for the world. Just 5% of the world’s energy. And for electricity consumption, measured in terawatt hours, again, even less than the primary energy use, just at 3% of the world electricity consumption. And finally, not surprisingly, given Africa’s very low use of electricity and low use of primary energy overall, Africa’s carbon dioxide emissions of course are a very, very tiny part of the problem. They constituted about one billion tons of CO2 emissions in 2010–sorry, 2011 data–and that is out of about 31 billion tons that year worldwide. So Africa’s emissions are only 3%.

Fifteen per cent of the world’s population, three per cent of the emissions, or one-fifth per person of the world average emissions. Think of the other end that we’ve been focusing on in the deep decarbonization pathways discussion. Just the five major economies of the world, China, the United States, European Union, India and Russia, just those five account for two-thirds, 65% of the world’s total emissions. So a few very big, quite wealthy economies in general are at the top end of energy use and at the top end of emissions. And a very significant part of the world and a large part of the world population, in Africa, is impoverished, using very, very low amounts of energy and emitting a very small proportion of the carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse gas emissions more generally.

817Now I think it’s quite interesting actually to look back historically at both how Africa’s poverty in income terms and its energy poverty, the phrase that is now widely used, have been part of the long history of the continent. And through no fault of Africa, I want to stress, one of the most telling aspects of modern economic development is that it has taken place primarily in countries that had adequate domestic energy resources. The industrial revolution took off originally in England, in a place where coal resources were vast and where the creativity of James Watt in inventing the modern steam engine at the, towards the end of the 18th Century made it possible to tap this large coal resource and help propel England and Britain to the forefront of global economic development. When one traces the history of industrialization in the 19th Century, coal is a big part of the story. If the country had it there was a pretty good chance that it could achieve industrialization in the 19th Century. The United States is an example of that. Australia is an example of that. Japan is an example of that. But notably in looking at this map of coal reserves, ironically, tellingly, there were certain parts of the world that just don’t have coal.

This isn’t a matter of their governance, their strategy, anything else, it’s a matter of their basic geology. And what you can see on this map is that the continent of Africa with the small exception of the very southern tip of Africa, the part of South Africa is essentially without any significant coal reserves. This was an absolutely decisive factor in Africa’s continuing underdevelopment in the 19th Century. Not only did it make industrialization virtually impossible in the 19th Century and even countries in north Africa that tried to industrialize found out that they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have access to low cost modern energy resources. But because the lack of coal put Africa in such a weak position, it also rendered the continent vulnerable to the total conquest by Europe towards the end of the 19th Century. It was one of the factors that made Africa vulnerable to imperial domination for about a hundred years from the second half of the 19th Century to the 1960s to ’80s. So simply the access to energy resources was a propellant of development.

And the lack of access to these resources was a pretty fundamental barrier to development. Towards the end of the 19th Century, coal became less decisive because with the invention of the internal combustion engine, petroleum became a more important resource.

And while Africa has a few pockets of petroleum resources, we find essential the same story as we found with coal, that while Africa is a bit better provisioned with oil and there are parts of Africa such as Nigeria or Gabon or Angola with significant hydrocarbon resources, measured in per person terms and looked at in the aggregate, sub-Saharan Africa is once again, relatively on the short side compared to the United States, compared certainly to the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf region and other parts of the world.

We could say that fortunately there have been some important discoveries of oil and natural gas in recent years in some of the poorest parts of the world and parts of Africa, notably in Mozambique and Tanzania, off the coast, this gives a chance for domestic-based energy in very poor countries that never had it before. What’s the moral of the story?

The moral of the story is that Africa remains today impoverished in part because of the lack of modern energy services. In order for Africa to develop it’s going to absolutely require an infrastructure of modern energy.

Fortunately there are a lot more choices today for that than there were in the 19th Century, while coal was indisputably the king during the first phase of industrialization and now we’re going to see that because of the advent of low-cost photovoltaics and concentrated solar thermal energy, because of advances in potential for geothermal energy, for hydroelectric power, for wind energy, Africa now has a chance to develop modern energy services based on a much wider array of primary energy sources than ever before. And this is extraordinarily heartening.

For Africa to develop, it will need to develop the energy infrastructure. We should expect and we should build into all global forecasts and policies a significant rise of energy consumption and production within Africa to enable this part of the world, still the world’s poorest, finally to escape from the poverty trap and to achieve economic development. In the following chapters of this lecture I’m going to describe in far more detail how this can be accomplished.