Government Prediction Prompts Call for More Support to Renewables

A government report which shows that consumption of renewables will decline under the Kyoto Protocol has prompted the Canadian Association for Renewable Energies to urge climate change negotiators to place greater emphasis on green heat, green fuel and green power options.

OTTAWA, Ontario: More work needs to be done to promote renewable energies under the Kyoto Protocol, says the Canadian Association for Renewable Energies, to counter a U.S. analysis which indicates that consumption of renewables will decline under the climate change treaty.

A report released by the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that Western Europe would consume 5.9 quadrillion Btu (quads) of renewable energy in 2010 under Kyoto, lower than the 6.1 quads under a baseline prediction without the agreement. By 2025, consumption would be 6.6 quads under Kyoto compared with 7.4 quads without.

In Japan, consumption of renewables would be 1.6 quads by 2025 under Kyoto and 1.7 quads without, while Annex I countries (the signatories to Kyoto) would be consuming 16.9 quads in two decades compared with 17.8 quads without the treaty.

Canada, the only Annex 1 country in North America, would consume 5.1 quads of renewables under either scenario.

"This is a strong reason for the COP11 summit in Montreal to look seriously at renewables as one of the true options for the post-2012 period," says Bill Eggertson, executive director of the national association. "Since the treaty was written 1997, we've called for more consideration of green power and green fuel, as well as considerably more support for green heat."

Eggertson will deliver a parallel session and a UNFCCC webcast next Friday (Dec 9) on the potential for climate change mitigation from green heat technologies, which include earth energy (geothermal heat pumps), solar thermal collectors and advanced biomass.

"The world is slowly starting to understand and appreciate the environmental and economic benefits of green power for electricity and green fuel for transportation," he adds. "Now the focus must include green heat for low-grade thermal space conditioning applications."

The prediction is contained in DOE's 'International Energy Outlook 2005' released earlier this year by its Energy Information Administration. It explains that the projected penetration of renewables will be lower under Kyoto for a number of reasons, including a 12.5% global increase in consumption of electricity from non-carbon-emitting nuclear reactors and a 1.7% decline in total energy use by 2025 under the treaty. Generation from non-fossil fuels provides a larger share of total energy under Kyoto than in the reference case, but generation from green power is lower, and the report concludes that more use of carbon sequestration will also limit the potential for renewables.

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