Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Agroforestry, as a practice of integrating woody vegetation with crop and animal
 systems, benefits agriculture, forestry and related stakeholders with a 
sustainable land management, with multiple ecological and economic 
interactions. As such, agroforestry systems can be integrated with a set 
of practices to produce biological resources and sustainable methods of
 food, wood, and fiber production and provide a wide range of ecosystem
 services, such as carbon sequestration, water regulation and habitat
 provision for biodiversity and landscape amelioration. While, at local scale,
 it can benefit farmers, landowners and nature conservation efforts, at 
larger scale, it can help the European Union to accelerate the deployment 
of a sustainable European bioeconomy towards the 2030 Agenda and
 its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as objectives for 
the Paris Agreement. However, this requires research proposals and 
results tested with silvoarable and silvopastoral agroforestry systems
 designed mixed with agricultural and forestry practices to demonstrate
 their management, production and profitability. Such knowledge should
 then benefit and reach end-users to facilitate the correct implementation
 of optimal and beneficial practices within a European bioeconomy 
development context.

Agroforestry, ecosystem services, landscape and 

rural development

  • Climate change (adaptation and mitigation)
Agroforestry is a diversified set of agricultural production systems that
 integrate trees in the agricultural landscape, which is often regarded as 
a strategy for both adaptation and mitigation to climate change. The
 inclusion of trees in agroforestry systems has a strong significance
 for carbon sequestration and therefore is an important and often 
underestimated contribution to climate change mitigation. Agroforestry
 can also support production in rural areas with improved resilience
 to climate variability as well as climate change, through intensification,
 diversification and buffering of farming systems. This session foresees 
positive outcomes of agroforestry from case studies or dynamic modelling
 on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

  • Enhancing ecosystem services provision by agroforestry systems
Agroforestry systems provide a broad number of regulating and
 supporting ecosystem services, ranging from biogeochemical cycling,
 through maintenance of soil fertility and carbon storage, to watershed
 protection and biodiversity. However, as emphasized by several researchers
, current understanding of agroforestry systems functioning and the best 
strategies to enhance the provision of multiple ecosystem services
 require deeper understanding. This session will examine the relationships 
between different ecosystem services as well as the management strategies 
to favor their provision in different agroforestry systems. Cases of Payment 
for Environmental Services (PES) would be encouraged.

  • Agroforestry, biodiversity, and wildlife management
Among several ecosystem services, agroforestry increases biomass, habitat 
and landscape connectivity, with potential to maintain higher levels of 
biodiversity in comparison to crop or pasture systems. Thus, spreading 
of different agroforestry ecosystems may be a viable complementary land
 use strategy for biodiversity conservation through small and diversified
 farms. The session defines the relevance of agroforestry systems for
 biodiversity conservation and enhancement, with general discussions
 and specific outcomes from case studies on positive relationships 
between plant/tree diversity and biodiversity — driven by either niche 
complementarity or the greater likelihood of including functionally-important
 species in more diverse assemblages.

  • Agroforestry and the landscape
This session focuses on options for a sustainable landscape development 
and management across spatial and temporal scales. It aims to highlight
 opportunities and synergies for: agricultural growth shaped through
 biodiversity and ecosystem conservation efforts; securing the full range
 of goods and services through natural resource management; providing
 new directions for meeting the production with sustainable development 
goals. Agroforestry systems and practices promise to play a major role 
in this framework. Session topics will include the analysis of agroforestry
 systems drivers, processes, and social-ecological impacts at landscape 
scales; the role of agroforestry in the landscape integrated management;
 the role in human health, limitations and knowledge gaps, as well as 
critical issues in local and regional planning through examples and case studies.

Agroforestry and policy for sustainable 


  • Agroforestry, quality food products and certification
The inextricable linkages between water, food, and other resources are
 pivotal in a fast changing world, since their demand is increasingly driven
 by economic growth, rising population, urbanization, and climate change.
 Sustainable agroforestry practices are often considered as a way to enhance
 food security, taking into account the often neglected social issues. 
However, much research is still needed to assess how agroforestry can
 contribute to food security, especially in the face of socio-economic and 
climate changes. More knowledge is needed on the relationship between
 agroforestry practices and food quality, especially as regard to the presence 
of bioactive substances and the nutritional characteristics of food. 
Furthermore, a credible certification on sustainable products is expected
 through voluntary market tools to demonstrate organic or good agriculture 
practices for food and sustainability for forest-based products. This session 
invites studies reporting advances in understanding the potential of
 agroforestry to contribute to food quality, health and security, while
 preserving and strengthening the environmental resources, and supporting
 the development of innovative certification and labelling schemes for a
 profitable and sustainable agroforestry.

  • Policy
A set of recommendations and changes of local, regional, national and 
international policies such as, the current and the next Common Agricultural 
Policy (CAP), are crucial to facilitate rural development. Farmers in the 
European Union receive support through several measures within the CAP
, including direct payments to farmers (Pillar I) and payments related to rural 
development (Pillar II). Policies should also recognize the importance of 
certification to grant an important role of agroforestry products to enhance
 sustainable production, and support local rural communities with activities
 fostering landscape preservation. This session aims to assess the existing
 policy framework, and highlight the required changes and adaptations that
 can facilitate widespread transition to eco-intensive farming (including 
agroforestry practices) and contribute to support bioeconomy.

Agroforestry systems and innovations

  • Agroforestry and wildfire prevention
Fire frequency and fire-prone areas have increased in Southern Europe, especially
 in the Mediterranean Basin, because of recent changes in land use socio-economic 
and fire-policy factors, including increased wildland-rural-urban interface due
 to urban sprawl. Land abandonment, especially in mountainous regions, led to
 shrubland encroachment, thus, in turn, contributing to increase fuel loading and
 fire risk. Land management practices, particularly agroforestry, can
 contribute to reducing wildfire risk through the reduction of fuel
 loads/flammability and altering fuel continuity at the landscape level, while
 revitalising abandoned areas, integrating fire prevention principles, and
 offering new job possibilities. Contributions are welcome addressing the
 influence and the opportunity of agroforestry activities to better understand and
 manage wildfire risk, with an eye on sustainability and ecosystem service provision.

  • Agroforestry innovations toward innovative agroforestry systems
To optimize a functional integration of multiple roles to support agroforestry, a
 fundamental understanding of agroforestry innovations is required in order to
 ensure long-term land-use decisions. As alternative solutions and agroforestry
 components are tested and combined, functionally and structurally, new
 agroforestry systems are potentially becoming available and brought under the
 attention as new solutions to exploit new complementarities of agroforestry
 components and marketing alternatives. The session describes knowledge and
 marketing of agroforestry innovations that are fundamental for the design of
 solutions that can improve intensification of agricultural production, enhance
 complementarity of multiple biotic factors, grow better food, cut waste and 
improve financial margins and profitability.
To this end, this session emphasizes innovative agroforestry systems, tested
 through scientific case study development and/or adoption by rural communities,
 and highlights their potential and weakness to become useful and
 widespread agroforestry options.

  • Managing Mediterranean agro-silvopastoral systems
Traditional agroforestry systems are undergoing rapid transformation because 
of to socio-economic and climate changes. If properly designed and managed,
 agroforestry systems in Mediterranean areas can contribute to multiple goos
 and jobs related to agro-silvopastoral systems, including wood products, livestock
 husbandry, pastures and crops, while addressing climate-change adaptatin 
and mitigation issues. Yet, emerging research is moving fast from climate-smat
 agriculture to climate-smart agroforestry, providing studies and solutions 
for shifting towards management practices economically and environmentally
 sustainable. Abstracts in this session are expected to address sustainable 
economic and ecological management of agro-silvopastoral systems in a context
 of global change.

Agroforestry, education, dissemination

  • Education, information sharing, and awareness raising in agroforestry
Education and dissemination are key elements to promote good practices
 that allow widespread implementation and adoption by farmers of successful 
agroforestry practices. Moreover, social engagement is an extremely important 
factor for the maintenance and success of agroforestry activities. This session
 will highlight the experiences and perceptions of European farmers, to identify
 the opportunities and the key barriers to agroforestry and, therefore, to 
understand the acceptance or refusal of agroforestry by farmers. This session
 will also show and describe potential practices that can help to disseminate,
 through improved solution/platform (ICT) providing farmers with information
 related to better agroforestry practices, such as crop/tree choice, spacing 
and market decisions. This includes experiences in developing an agroforestry
 system and describing voids to be filled when applying them, the description of
 need for technical assistance to small farmers, integrating research,
 experimentation and application. The session aims also at looking into initiatives
 that contribute to public awareness raising, as a crucial factor for increasing the 
demand of products obtained by agroforestry practices.

  • Agroforestry and rural tourism
Agroforestry offers great potential to increase biodiversity, landscape values
 and several ecosystem functions that can facilitate the fruition of natural 
landscape by human activities. Agroforestry can have an important role in
 ecotourism development and in keeping the wildlife component of
 eco-destinations alive and active, by preserving food sources and even nesting 
sites, growing high value food for tourists, restoration of degraded landscapes 
aesthetically attractive for tourism. This session intends to describe opportunities
 through rural tourism to establish economic activities that can be a funnel to 
financially support  agroforestry practices, while benefiting landscape.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Stablo godine (Tree of The Year)

Join the most popular environmental contest to enhance your CSR and Environmental Policy!

We are searching for trees with the most interesting storie


Za titulu Hrvatsko stablo 2019. godine natječe se šest kandidata:  Hrast lužnjak (Quercus robur L.) iz prašume Prašnik (Stara Gradiška, Brodsko-posavska županija); Ginko (Ginkgo biloba L.) iz Daruvara (Bjelovarsko-bilogorska županija); Hrast kitnjak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) iz Vojakovačkog Osijeka (Koprivničko-križevačka županija); Hrast lužnjak (Quercus robur L.) iz park-šume Maksimir (Grad Zagreb); Velelisna lipa (Tilia grandifolia Ehrh.) iz Visokog (Varaždinska županija) te Bijela murva (Morus alba L.) iz Brtonigle (Istarska županija).

Natjecanje Stablo godine (Tree of The Year) je natjecanje koje naglašava značaj starih stabla u prirodnoj i kulturnoj baštini Europe, koja zaslužuju našu brigu i zaštitu. Inspirirano jepopularnim festivalom Stabla godine koji već godinama u Češkoj Republici organizira udruga za zaštitu okoliša Nadace Partnerství. Kroz natjecanje i promocijom priča o pojedinim stablima značajnim za život lokalne zajednice cilj natjecanja je promocija bioraznolikosti i prirodnih bogatstava diljem Europske unije kako bi se podigla svijest javnosti o potrebi zaštite i očuvanja prirode, kao i važnosti prirodnih vrijednosti za život čovjeka i opstanak čovječanstva. Natjecanje Stablo godinenastoji promicati stabla i njihove priče kao prirodne spomenike na isti način na koji UNESCO promiče svjetsku baštinu.

Od 2011. godine natjecanje se održava svake godine u pojedinim državama diljem Europe. Do 2017. godine u projektu je sudjelovalo sedamnaest europskih zemalja (Njemačka, Češka, Španjolska, Francuska, Belgija, Škotska, Engleska, Wales, Bugarska, Litva, Irska, Sjeverna Irska, Engleska, Slovačka, Mađarska, Poljska, Estonija), a 2017. natjecanju sepriključila se i Republika Hrvatska prihvaćanjem kandidature Javne ustanove za upravljanje zaštićenim diejlovima prirode Dubrovačko-neretvanske županije kao nacionalnog koordinatora ispred Republike Hrvatske.Osim što je Javna ustanova za upravljanje zaštićenim dijelovima prirode Dubrovačko-neretvanske županije izabrana za nacionalnog koordinatora natjecanja Europsko stablo godine, organizator je nacionalnog natjecanja Hrvatsko stablo godine. Partneri u projektu Stablo godine Javnoj ustanovi za upravljanje zaštićenim dijelovima prirode Dubrovačko-neretvanske županije su Šumarski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Hrvatske šume d.o.o. te Hrvatsko agrometeorološko društvo.

Natjecanje Stablo godineima svoju proceduru i jasno propisana pravila koja nacionalni kordinator mora ispuniti i slijediti da bi se pojedina država mogla priključiti i sudjelovati u natjecanju. Natjecanje Stablo godine sastoji se od nacionalnog natjecanja i europskog natjecanja. Pobjednika nacionalnog natjecanja potrebno je proglasiti najkasnije do kraja listopada tekuće godine te gakao pobjednika nacionalnog natjecanja kandidirati ispred pojedine države za europsko natjecanje do 04. studenog tekuće godine. Zatim slijedi natjecanje europsko stablo godine sačinjeno od pobjednika nacionalnih natjecanja.

Natjecanje Europsko stablo godine je finale natjecanja Stablo godine sastavljeno od pobjednika nacionalnih natjecanja. Natjecanje naglašava važnost pružanja usluga stabla u ekosustavu. Ne fokusira se na ljepoti, veličini ili dobi pojedinog stabla, već je naglasak na priči o stablu te njegovoj povezanosti s ljudima i lokalnom zajednicom. Traže se stabla koja su postala dio šire zajednice, stabla ukorijenjena u život i rad ljudi. Javno glasovanje za europsko stablo godine traje od 01. veljače do 28. veljače tekuće godine. Pobjednik natjecanja Europsko stablo godine proglašava se na Svjetski dan šuma 21. ožujka 2018. godine u Bruxelles-u s čime završava natjecanje Stablo godine (Tree of The Year) za tekuću godinu.

Organizatori natjecanja su Environmental Partnership Association, the European Landowners Organisation i TeraPark u suradnji s Europskom komisijom, pod nadležnosti povjerenika Europske komisije za okoliš, pomorstvo i ribarstvo g. Karmenu Vella.
Svrha Europskog stabla godine je istaknuti značaj starih stabala u prirodnoj i kulturnoj baštini. Europsko stablo godine ne fokusira se na ljepoti, veličini ili dobi pojedinog stabla, već je naglasak na priči o stablu i njegovoj povezanosti s ljudima. U okviru natjecanja traže se stabla koja su postala dio šire zajednice.
Svake godine na natjecanju sudjeluje više stotina tisuća ljudi. Broj uključenih država povećava se iz godine u godinu. Od prvog europskog natjecanja broj država koje su sudjelovale u natjecanju porastao je sa 5 na 17 država.

Republika Hrvatska prvi puta je sudjelovala na natjecanju Europsko stablo 2018. godine godine i zauzela je 7. mjesto kandidaturom Azijske platane Trstenom (Platanus orientalis L.) na trgu, zaštićenog spomenika parkovne arhitekture. Ove godine Republiku Hrvatsku na natjecanju Europsko stablo 2019. godine je prestavljala Gupčeva lipa, zaštićeni spomenik prirode koja je zauzela 11. mjesto.
Važno je sudjelovati u natjecanju kako bi se promovirala bogata i raznolika priroda Republike Hrvatske, a posebno ona zaštićena, najvrijedniji resurs kojim Republika Hrvatska raspolaže.
Imamo se čime dičiti i ponositi, te pokazati Europi sve vrednote kojima obilujemo.
Natjecanje Hrvatsko stablo godine je nacionalno natjecanje koje se održava u Republici Hrvatskoj. Od 2017. godine Javna ustanova za upravljanje zaštićenim dijelovima prirode Dubrovačko-neretvanske županije, nositelj imena Hrvatsko stablo godine, organizira i provodi natjecanje u partnerstvu s Šumarskim fakultetom Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Hrvatskim šumama d.o.o. i Hrvatskim agrometeorološkim društvom.
Natjecanjeima pet faza: nominacijskiproces, odabirfinalista, procesjavnogglasovanja, proglašenjepobjednikanatjecanjatezavršnufazuskrbizapobjedničkostablotesimboličnusadnjusta bala.
Natjecanjem i promocijom priča o pojedinim stablima značajnim za život lokalne zajednice želi se podignuti svijest javnosti o značenju i važnosti očuvanja bioraznolikosti za život čovjeka i opstanak čovječanstva. Također, natjecanjem se nastoji privući stanovništvo i potaknuti lokalne zajednice da se uključe u zaštitu i očuvanje prirodne baštine. Na taj se način promoviraju stabla kao bitan element našega kulturnog i prirodnog bogatstva, te privlači pozornost javnosti i medija na zaštitu i očuvanje prirodnih vrijednosti i bioraznolikosti značajnih za život čovjeka i opstanak čovječanstva.

U tijeku je nacionalno natjecanje Hrvatsko stablo 2019. godine, a za titulu Hrvatsko stablo 2019. godine natječe se šest kandidata: Hrast lužnjak (Quercus robur L.) iz prašume Prašnik (Stara Gradiška, Brodsko-posavska županija); Ginko (Ginkgo biloba L.) iz Daruvara (Bjelovarsko-bilogorska županija); Hrast kitnjak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) iz Vojakovačkog Osijeka (Koprivničko-križevačka županija); Hrast lužnjak (Quercus robur L.) iz park-šume Maksimir (Grad Zagreb); Velelisna lipa (Tilia grandifolia Ehrh.) iz Visokog (Varaždinska županija) te Bijela murva (Morus alba L.) iz Brtonigle (Istarska županija).

Natjecanje je započelo 01. kolovoza 2019. godine u 00:00h i trajat će do 15. rujna 2019. godine do 00:00h. Pobjednik natjecanja proglasit će se na svečanoj ceremoniji 22. listopada 2019. godine na Šumarskom fakultetu Sveučilišta u Zagrebu. Pobjednika nacionalnog natjecanja Javna ustanova za upravljanje zaštićenim dijelovima prirode Dubrovačko- neretvanske županije, u ime Republike Hrvatske, kandidirati će na finale natjecanja Europsko stablo 2020. Godine, a što je sukladno pravilima natjecanja potrebno do 04. studenog 2019. godine.

Upute za glasovanje:

 Stranici za glasovanje sza hrvatski ginko  pristupa se direktno putem poveznice - https://www.treeoftheyear.org/Stromy/Jinan-z-Daruvaru

Glasati se može za samo jednog kandidata. Nakon odabira željenog kandidata
potvrdite svoj glas klikom na internet stranici.

Glasati semože samo jednom sistog računaIa, prijenosnog računala i/iIimobitela.

Glasanje traje od 01. kolovoza 2019. godine u 00:00h i do 15. rujna 2019. godine do 00:00h.



Monday, July 22, 2019

Energy Consumption 2050

Energy Consumption 2050

Nearly half the world’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2050 as costs of wind, solar and battery storage continue to plummet. That titanic shift over the next three decades will come as electricity demand increases 62% and investors pump $13.3 trillion into new projects. 

The move away from fossil fuel has sweeping implications for energy markets and the fight to stave off climate change. Wind, solar and batteries are poised to enable the power sector to meet its share of emission cuts required under the Paris climate agreement, at least until 2030.
But after that, nations will need other technologies to make deeper cuts at a reasonable cost.
By 2050, solar and wind will supply almost 50% of the world’s electricity, with hydro, nuclear and other renewable energy resources providing another 21%. Coal will be the biggest loser in the power sector, with its share of global generation plunging from 37% today to 12% in 2050. Many nations can cut power-sector emissions through 2030 in line with goals set in Paris to limit the increase in world temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). And they can do that without additional subsidies for solar and wind. Since 2010, the cost of wind power has dropped by 49%, and solar has plummeted 85%. That makes them cheaper than new coal or gas plants in two-thirds of the world. Battery storage costs, meanwhile, have dropped 85% since 2010. If the world is to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector, technologies including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen power and solar thermal plants will compete to provide about 13,000 terawatt hours of generation by 2050. That’s equivalent to about half of all electricity produced today. And even if every nation scrubs emissions from the power sector, there are still ample greenhouse gases from cars, trucks, ships, airplanes, heating systems and agriculture.

The rise in energy demand is essentially a story of economic and population growth. Primary energy consumption—which encompasses virtually all demand, right down to the losses of energy as it travels across transmission and distribution lines—has boomed in developing parts of the world, even as it leveled off, or even fell, in industrialized countries.

As a result, the global balance of energy demand has shifted dramatically since 1980. Back then, the U.S. consumed over a quarter of the world’s energy—more than any other country. Today, it’s China that uses the most. The U.S. is still a close second. Other large, emerging economies like India and Indonesia are consuming four, five, and in some cases, even six times the primary energy they did in 1980—most of it coming from fossil fuels spewing the carbon-dioxide emissions now threatening the earth’s climate. In other parts of the world, clean energy sources are taking off. Renewable, nuclear and other non-fossil-fuel sources made up more than 14% of the globe’s primary energy consumption in 2016. They make up an even larger share of its “final” energy use—demand after transformation and distribution losses—because fossil fuels lose more. The rise of cheap solar and wind power is helping slow the growth of carbon emissions globally—so is the decline in overall energy demand in developed nations. A recent McKinsey report projected that energy demand would plateau around 2030—thanks in large part to wealthy nations such as the U.S., Germany and Japan. Meanwhile, the number of countries that solely consume fossil fuels including coal and oil has dropped by about half to 17 since 1980, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

The shift away from fossil fuels, however, has faced setbacks. Nuclear power plants, despite the zero-emissions electricity they produce, have fallen out of favor in some parts because of Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011. And while the use of renewables is growing, their adoption may not prove quick enough to ward off the worst effects of global warming. Even if the nearly 200 countries that signed the Paris climate accord were on track to meet their own emission goals, global temperatures would still climb more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—a rise that scientists expect will be catastrophic to life on earth.

Every country has a different energy story: While energy consumption in most advanced economies has either stabilized or fallen in the past couple of decades, demand in many emerging markets has soared. The U.S. and China, the world’s two largest consumers of energy, are a case in point. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest energy consumer a decade ago. Cheap and dirty coal plants proliferated there, spewing so much soot that the sun was clouded out and cities were choking by the early 1990s. Within the past decade, the country has been working on a plan to curb its fossil-fuel pollution. One major part of that plan, the $36 billion Three Gorges dam, was completed in 2012, becoming the largest hydroelectric plant in the world at 22.5 gigawatts. The U.S., meanwhile, has seen its energy demand plateau. That’s even as its reliance on natural gas has grown rapidly thanks to a domestic fracking boom. U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewables surpassed coal for the first time in April 2019, according to the EIA.

In Europe, the U.K. and France are actually decreasing energy consumption. France became one of the smallest users of fossil fuels after the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s led to a rapid expansion of nuclear power. French utility EDF gets more of its electricity from emissions-free nuclear power than any other source and has committed to extending the life for most of its reactors even as others pull back in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The consumption of once-dominant coal in the U.K. shrank to nearly zero in 2016, as the country plans to close all coal plants by 2025. The U.K. closed its last three deep mines in 2015, which led to a sharp drop in coal consumption for the country that launched the Industrial Revolution on the fossil fuel. The country has instead invested heavily in offshore wind farms. 
Japan’s consumption began falling around the turn of the century as efficiency gains and a shrinking population reduced the country’s needs, while Germany’s decline has been slower. Both countries were early proponents of nuclear power but are dismantling reactors because of safety concerns after a tsunami overwhelmed Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. Germany, an early investor in clean energy, turned to renewables. Unlike Japan, Germany hasn’t seen a major increase in its share of fossil fuels as it shuts down its nuclear fleet ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2022 deadline. But phasing out nuclear energy means that Germany’s carbon emissions have stayed steady, even as the country rapidly turns to renewables. 

Like China, India has seen breakneck development since 1980 and the accompanying surge in energy consumption that comes as tens of millions of its citizens join the country’s middle class. But unlike China, India has not invested as much in renewable energy as it’s developed. While a greater share of India’s total energy consumption came from non-fossil fuel sources in 1980 than its larger neighbor did, that share has actually dropped since 1980. Meanwhile, China’s share coming from nuclear and renewables has nearly quadrupled.
South Korea’s energy use also has grown rapidly. Because it must import most of its fuel supplies and has little land available for giant wind or solar farms, South Korea has embraced hydrogen fuel cell technologies to become the largest producer of fuel cell equipment. Energy mix and carbon footprint reveal a lot about a country’s natural resources. Take Iceland, which takes heat from the volcanoes that built the island nation and gets the rest of its electricity from hydroelectric dams. 
Others like Brazil, Paraguay, Bhutan, Croatia and Norway are also geographically blessed with enormous hydroelectric and renewable energy potential. That’s not so for arid regions such as the Middle East—Saudi Arabia generates most of its electricity from oil. 

The shift toward renewables has proven easier for some countries than others, but the economics of wind and solar are tipping the scales globally. The two resources are now the cheapest forms of energy in two-thirds of the world. The cost of solar has declined by 85% since 2010. As clean power sources get even cheaper, countries will have a greater incentive to transition and cut carbon emissions. Whether that comes in time to to prevent the worst effects of climate change remains to be seen.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Renewable Energy Africa

 Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in energy resources.
Making reliable and afordable energy widely available is critcal to the development of a region that accounts for 13% of the world’s populaton, but only 4% of its energy demand. Since 2000, sub-Saharan Africa has seen rapid economic growth and energy use has risen by 45%. Many governments are now intensifying their eforts to tackle the numerous regulatory and politcal barriers that are holding back investment in domestc energy supply, but inadequate energy infrastructure risks putng a brake on urgently needed improvements in living standards. The picture varies widely across the region, but, in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, only 290 million out of 915 million people have access to electricity and the total number without access is rising. Eforts to promote electrifcaton are gaining momentum, but are outpaced by populaton growth. Although investment in new energy supply is on the rise, two out of every three dollars put into the sub-Saharan energy sector since 2000 have been commited to the development of resources for export.

A severe shortage of essental electricity infrastructure is undermining eforts to achieve more rapid social and economic development. For the minority that has a grid connecton today, supply is ofen unreliable, necessitatng widespread and costly private use of back-up generators running on diesel or gasoline. Electricity tarifs are, in many cases, among the highest in the world and, outside South Africa, losses in poorly maintained transmission and distributon networks are double the world average. Reform programmes are startng to improve efciency and to bring in new capital, including from private investors, and grid-based generaton capacity quadruples in our main scenario to 2040, albeit from a very low base of 90 GW today (half of which is in South Africa). Urban areas experience the largest improvement in the coverage and reliability of centralised electricity supply. Elsewhere, mini-grid and of-grid systems provide electricity to 70% of those gaining access in rural areas. Building on successful examples of electrifcaton programmes, such as those in Ghana and Rwanda, the total number without access starts to decline in the 2020s and 950 million people gain access to electricity by 2040 – a major step forward, but not enough. More than half a billion people, mainly in rural areas, remain without electricity in 2040.

Sub-Saharan Africa starts to unlock its vast renewable energy resources, with almost half of the growth in electricity generaton to 2040 coming from renewables. Hydropower accounts for one-ffh of today’s power supply, but less than 10% of the estmated technical potental has been utlised. The Democratc Republic of Congo, where only 9% of the populaton has access to electricity, is an example of the co-existence of huge hydropower potental with extreme energy poverty. Politcal instability, limited access to fnance, small market size and weak transmission connectons with neighbouring countries have all held back exploitaton of hydro resources. These constraints are gradually being lifed, not least because of greater regional co-operaton and the emergence of China, alongside the traditonal lenders, as a major funder of large infrastructure projects. New hydropower capacity in the Democratc Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Guinea, among others, plays a major role in bringing down the region’s average costs of power supply, reducing the share of oil-fred power. Other renewables, led by solar technologies, make a growing contributon to supply, with a successful aucton-based procurement programme in South Africa showing how this can be achieved cost efectvely. Geothermal becomes the second-largest source of power supply in East Africa, mainly in Kenya and Ethiopia. Two-thirds of the mini-grid and of-grid systems in rural areas in 2040 are powered by solar photovoltaics, small hydropower or wind. As technology costs come down, the atracton of renewable systems versus diesel generators grows (although they are ofen used in combinaton), especially where fnancing is available to cover the higher upfront expense.

Bioenergy use – mainly fuelwood and charcoal – outweighs demand for all other forms of energy combined, a picture that changes only gradually even as incomes rise. Four out of fve people in sub-Saharan Africa rely on the traditonal use of solid biomass, mainly fuelwood, for cooking. A 40% rise in demand for bioenergy to 2040 exacerbates strains on the forestry stock, with eforts to promote more sustainable wood producton hindered by the operaton of much of the fuelwood and charcoal supply chain outside the formal economy. Scarcity, along with eforts to make alternatve fuels like liquefed petroleum gas available, results in some switching away from wood use, especially in towns. Promoton of more efcient biomass cookstoves reduces the health efects of polluton from indoor smoke. Nonetheless, 650 million people – more than one-third of an expanding populaton – stll cook with biomass in an inefcient and hazardous way in 2040.
The rise of the African energy consumer brings a new balance to oil and gas
Almost 30% of global oil and gas discoveries made over the last fve years have been in sub-Saharan Africa, refectng growing global appette for African resources. Nigeria is the richest resource centre of the oil sector, but regulatory uncertainty, militant actvity and oil thef in the Niger Delta are deterring investment and producton, so much so that Angola is set to overtake Nigeria as the region’s largest producer of crude oil at least untl the early 2020s. The value of the estmated 150 thousand barrels lost to oil thef each day – amountng to more than $5 billion per year – would be sufcient to fund universal access to electricity for all Nigerians by 2030. A host of smaller producers such as South Sudan, Niger, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya see rising output; but, by the late 2020s, producton in most countries – with the excepton of Nigeria – is in decline. Additons and upgrades to refning capacity mean that more of the region’s crude supply is processed locally. With regional producton falling back from above 6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2020 to 5.3 mb/d in 2040, but demand for oil products doubling to 4 mb/d – an upward trend amplifed in some countries by subsidised prices – the result is to squeeze the region’s net contributon to the global oil balance.

Natural gas resource-holders can power domestc economic development and boost export revenues, but only if the right regulaton, prices and infrastructure are in place. The incentves to use gas within sub-Saharan Africa are expected to grow as power sector reforms and gas infrastructure projects move ahead but, for the moment, as much gas is fared as is consumed within the region. More than 1 trillion cubic metres of gas has been wasted through faring over the years, a volume that – if used to provide power – would be enough to meet current sub-Saharan electricity needs for more than a decade. In our main scenario, natural gas nearly triples its share in the energy mix to 11% by 2040. Nigeria remains the region’s largest gas consumer and producer, but the focus for new gas projects also shifs to the east coast and to the huge ofshore discoveries in Mozambique and Tanzania. The size of these developments and remoteness of their locaton raises questons about how quickly producton can begin, but they provide a 75 billion cubic metre (bcm) boost to annual regional output (which reaches 230 bcm in total) by 2040, with projects in Mozambique larger in scale and earlier in realisaton. East coast LNG export is helped by relatve proximity to the importng markets of Asia, but – alongside the benefts from an estmated $150 billion in fscal revenue to 2040 – both countries are determined to promote domestc markets for gas, which will need to be built from a very low base.

Coal producton and use gradually spreads beyond South Africa, but coal is overtaken by oil as the second-largest fuel in the sub-Saharan energy mix. Development of new coal resources is hindered in many cases by their remoteness and the lack of suitable railway and port infrastructure, consideratons that also afect the outlook for South Africa as the existng mining areas close to Johannesburg start to deplete. Much of the 50% increase in regional output is used locally, ofen for power generaton, with coking coal from Mozambique the only major new internatonal export fow. Prospects for coal are also limited by policy: South Africa, the dominant player in African coal, is seeking to diversify its power mix with renewables, regional hydropower projects, gas and eventually additonal nuclear capacity all playing a role in bringing the share of coal in power output down from more than 90% today to less than two-thirds by 2040. But coal’s relatvely low cost remains an asset in societes concerned about the afordability of electricity.

The sub-Saharan economy quadruples in size and energy demand grows by 80%, but energy could do much more to act as an engine of inclusive economic and social growth. The internatonal arena brings capital and technology, but mixed blessings in other areas. An oil price above $100 per barrel produces a contnued windfall for resource-rich countries – the cumulatve $3.5 trillion in fscal revenue is higher than the $3 trillion that is invested in all parts of the region’s energy supply to 2040 – but few guarantees that this revenue will be re-invested efciently, while the region’s oil product import bills grow, along with vulnerability to supply interruptons. Sub-Saharan Africa is also in the front line when it comes to the impacts of a changing climate, even though it contnues to make only a small contributon to global energy-related CO2 emissions; its share of global emissions rises to 3% in 2040. But the main challenges arise within the region, including not only the needs of a fast-growing populaton but also the impact of weak insttutons, a difcult climate for investment, and technical and politcal barriers to regional trade. Overall, our main scenario outlines an energy system that expands rapidly, but one that stll struggles to keep pace with the demands placed on it. And, for the poorest, while access to modern energy services grows, hundreds of millions – partcularly in rural communites – are lef without.

Beter management of resources and revenues, adoptng robust and transparent processes that allow for more efectve use of oil and gas revenues.
Broad improvements in governance, both inside and outside the energy sector, underpin the achievements of an African Century Case, involving, among many other things, heavy investment in the capacity to formulate and implement sound energy policies, as well as the consultaton and accountability that is essental to win public consent. Although stll not achieving universal access to electricity for all of the region’s citzens by 2040, the outcome is an energy system in which uninterrupted energy supply becomes the expectaton, rather than the excepton. Unreliable power supply has been identfed by African enterprises as the most pressing obstacle to the growth of their businesses, ahead of access to fnance, red tape or corrupton. Relieving this uncertainty helps every dollar of additonal power sector investment in the African Century Case to boost GDP by an estmated $15.
A modernising and more integrated energy system allows for more efcient use of resources and brings energy to a greater share of the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa. A reducton in the risks facing investors, as assumed in the African Century Case, makes oil and gas projects more compettve with producton in other parts of the world, allowing more of them to go ahead; and a higher share of the resultng fscal revenue is used productvely to reverse defciencies in essental infrastructure. Electricity trade more than triples as more regional projects advance: 30% of the extra investment in the power sector goes to Central Africa, helping to unlock more of the huge remaining hydropower capacity and connect it to the rest of the contnent. The additon of relatvely low-cost electricity keeps the average costs of supply down, even as power demand rises by almost one-third. Of the extra 230 million people that gain access to electricity in this Case by 2040, 70% are in rural areas, the supply coming primarily from mini-grid and of-grid systems. This investment is instrumental in helping to close the gap in energy provision and economic opportunity between sub-Saharan Africa’s rural communites and the people in its cites. Concerted acton to improve the functoning of the sub-Saharan energy sector is essental if the 21st is to become an African century.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Renewable Energy Ukraine

Ukraine is carrying out reforms in an attempt to become more closely aligned with the European Union – but developing the country is almost impossible without sustainable economic growth and investments. Recent and upcoming changes will make Ukraine more attractive for investing.
Aссording to the data provided by the Ukraine's energy regulator, the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC), as of January 1, 2018, the cumulative installed capacity of renewables under the FIT (without those plants located in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) totaled 1,374.7 MW, of which solar power plants accounted for ca. 55% (741.9 MW), and wind power plants, ca. 33.8% (465.1 MW).
In 2017 alone, 257 MW of the installed capacity of renewables under the FIT were operational, which is more than double the capacity put into operation in 2016 (ca. 127 MW), and eight times the capacity in 2015 (ca. 30 MW). The solar power plants put into operation in 2017 accounted for ca. 82% of the cumulative capacity of renewables under the FIT, while wind power plants accounted for ca. 10.6% of such cumulative capacity.

Year by year, the country is improving its position in the World Banks’ Doing Business ranking. Ukraine’s capital Kiev is on the top ten list of the cost-effective locations published by fDi Intelligence Magazine. So, investing in Ukraine’s economy is becoming increasingly appealing. Energy is among the most attractive options to invest in Ukraine. Until now, the only type of energy that saw foreign investments in Ukraine was renewable energy. Relatively high feed-in tariffs, calculated in euros and correspondingly protected from the risk deflation was the main reason for this. Other types of energy were not interesting for investors because of the absence of a developed energy market and because of strict government control and regulation. For instance, the government and the energy-regulating commission defined gas and electricity prices for final consumers. Obviously, energy prices, together with transparency and the predictability of the energy market’s environment define how profitable energy assets are, which include generating capacities and transmission lines. Correspondingly, all these determine investors’ interest. And these prices were not enough in Ukraine to justify investments towards upgrading the deteriorating energy infrastructure. Since Ukraine became independent, almost no new power plants were constructed, except for renewables. Given the absence of market pricing and the strength of government regulations, there is always a risk that that energy prices for the consumer will decrease to a level that will seriously affect how profitable investments are.
Since energy reforms started in Ukraine, after the 2014 revolution, some populist politicians have called to change electricity and gas pricing approaches in order to reduce prices. Clearly, this has not contributed to investors’ interest  No one wants to invest, knowing that some governmental body may change the pricing method and affect the profitability of investment. Hence, it is not surprising that no foreign investors have attempted to buy energy enterprises over the past few years. However, Ukraine’s energy sector is about to become significantly more attractive. On July 1, a new electricity market model will come in force. Two years ago, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law that stipulated a new electricity market model similar to the one EU member states employ. It will finally enable integrating the Ukrainian power grid to the ENTSO-E.

There is still a debate if the country made all the necessary preparations to launch this new electricity market. But most experts, market actors and officials agree that it is more than possible to launch the market on time.Electricity market reform will help boost investment in the sector. According to an assessment by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF), published in a report on the outcomes of the electricity market reform, electricity-generating companies will be able to attract 11,5 times more investment compared to a no-reform scenario. There will be similar effects on electricity-distributing companies. On average, the reform will create demand for $3.66 billion of investments annually in electricity generation and distribution. The reform will give a boost to Ukraine’s economy more generally.

Change of the structure of the total final energy consumption and impact of energy efficiency according to the revolutionary scenario.
The gas market is another good opportunity for investment. According to BP Review, Ukraine holds the second-largest gas reserves in Europe.  And recent legislative changes to the start of the auctioning process for exploration and extraction have liberalised gas production regulation and will make the process more transparent. The gas market law was adopted in 2015. But there is still no fully liberalised gas market in Ukraine because of public service obligations (PSO) to provide affordable energy to households. These PSOs restrict the number of companies involved in selling gas to households. The PSOs will be eliminated after 2020. But that is not a restriction for investing in gas extraction in Ukraine. Importantly, investing in Ukraine’s energy is not only about Ukraine’s internal market, but also about huge opportunities for exports. Being close to the European Union opens opportunities to export energy to EU member states. These are deeply energy-dependent, in need of more energy and a more diverse energy supply. Conducting energy reforms and investments will boost Ukrainian energy exports to the EU. Estimates show the reform will result in boosting electricity exports to 25 billion kWh in 2030, compared to current 5 billion kWh. In the case of natural gas, developing of Ukraine’s gas production and trading may become a part of a geopolitical gamble. Several pieces of US legislation are aimed at protecting Ukrainian energy security. US support in the development of Ukraine’s energy exports will result in deepening interdependency with neighboring states and will contribute to regional stability. Finishing energy reforms with political and economic support from its main allies, primarily the USA, will strengthen Ukraine’s economics and boost energy exports. 
In Ukraine, there are already proposals to consider new approaches to selling electricity produced from RES, such as power sale auctions, which are increasingly coming into focus, or feed-in premiums. It can be foreseen that incentives for power production from RES will become more diversified in Ukraine in the years to come, and will not be solely limited to a FIT.

Expected greenhouse gas emissions in Ukraine under revolutionary scenario

The general consensus is that auctions or other novel structures – notwithstanding their being progressive, and matching objective global trends in the development of the renewable energy industry, or corresponding to technology maturity and cost – should be introduced gradually, so as not to undermine the stability, consistency and continuity of the regulatory framework in the country, and prevent any adverse effects on ongoing projects.