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Can Asia-Pacific achieve sustainable energy for all?

Sharmila Bellur's picture

The Asia-Pacific region, comprised of 58 economies, is geographically expansive and a picture of diversity. The trends for sustainable energy in Asia-Pacific, which mirror the region’s economic and resource diversity, are underscored by the fact that Asia-Pacific comprises 60 percent of the global population, generates 32 percent of global GDP, consumes more than half of the global energy supply, while generating 55 percent of global emissions from fuel combustion. The region’s sustainable energy picture is captured in a new report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), entitled “Asia-Pacific Progress in Sustainable Energy: A Global Tracking Framework 2017 Regional Assessment Report.” The report is based on the World Bank and International Energy Agency’s Global Tracking Framework (GTF), which tracks the progress of countries on energy access, energy efficiency, and renewable energy under Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7).
 
Photo credit: Flickr/World Bank

Four overarching sustainable energy themes emerge from the report:

Solar Energy — putting power back into the hands of ordinary Gazans

Sara Badiei's picture
La burbuja de carbono y los activos inmovilizados

Parce qu’ils renferment une quantité extraordinaire d’énergie dans un volume restreint, les combustibles fossiles ont porté le développement humain à des niveaux dont on n’avait pas idée avant la révolution industrielle, des engrais de synthèse aux vols spatiaux. Seule ombre au tableau, ils produisent aussi des polluants atmosphériques et des gaz à effet de serre (GES) nocifs pour la santé.

Les émissions de GES atteignent aujourd’hui un niveau jamais vu depuis au moins 800 000 ans (a), et qui ne cesse d’augmenter, entraînant un dérèglement du climat qui pourrait bien ruiner des décennies d’avancées sur le plan du développement : bouleversement des moyens de subsistance, insécurité alimentaire grandissante, disparition des écosystèmes marins et côtiers, destruction des infrastructures ou encore menaces sur la sécurité mondiale… voici quelques-unes des catastrophes que nous prédisent les derniers rapports scientifiques (a).

Faute de moyens techniques permettant d’éliminer définitivement les GES et de ramener leur concentration atmosphérique dans des bornes sûres, la limitation des émissions supplémentaires est la seule solution réaliste. D’après les scientifiques, pour éviter les effets les plus dévastateurs du changement climatique, nous devrions contenir nos émissions de GES dans les prochaines décennies à un niveau égal à environ 20 % des réserves totales prouvées de combustibles fossiles.

Malaysia launches the world’s first green Islamic bond

Faris Hadad-Zervos's picture
The green sukuk, or Islamic bond, is a big step forward to fill gaps in green financing. Proceeds are used to fund environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects such as solar farms in Malaysia.
Photo: Aisyaqilumar/bigstock

Including women in infrastructure: from Washington to Senegal

Julia Prescot's picture

Las reuniones anuales del BM y FMI colocan al Perú al centro de la economía global

Hace poco fui invitado al conversatorio “En una economía de Cristal” realizado en la Universidad San Martin de Porres bajo la agenda de Rumbo a Lima 2015, una serie de eventos previos a las reuniones anuales del Banco Mundial y del Fondo Monetario Internacional. El conversatorio, realizado con universitarios, sirvió para dar a conocer más de cerca el rol que tiene el Banco Mundial en el desarrollo del Perú y la importancia de las reuniones anuales para el país.

Electricity and the internet: two markets, one big opportunity

Anna Lerner's picture
The markets for rural energy access and internet connectivity are ripe for disruption – and increasingly, we’re seeing benefit from combining the offerings.
 
Traditionally, power and broadband industries have been dominated by large incumbent operators, often involving a state-owned enterprise. Today, new business models are emerging, breaking market barriers to jointly provide energy access and broadband connectivity to consumers.
 
As highlighted in the World Development Report 2016, access to internet has the potential to boost growth, expand economic opportunities, and improve service delivery. The digital economy is growing at 10% a year—significantly faster than the global economy as a whole. Growth in the digital economy is even higher in developing markets: 15 to 25% per year (Boston Consulting Group).
 
To make sure everyone benefits, coverage needs to be extended to the roughly four billion people that still lack access to the internet. In a testing phase, Facebook has experimented with flying drones and Google has released balloons to provide internet to remote populations.
 
But as cool as they might sound, these innovations do nothing for the one billion people who still live off the grid… and don’t have access to the electricity you need to use the internet in the first place! The findings of the Internet Inclusion Summit panel which the World Bank joined recently put this nicely: “without electricity, internet is only a black hole”.
 
That’s why efforts to expand electricity and broadband access should go hand in hand: close coordination between the energy and ICT sectors is probably one of the most efficient and sensible ways of making sure rural populations in low-income countries can reap the benefits of digital development. This thinking is also reflected in a new generation of disruptive telecom infrastructure projects.

More than a technicality: The engineering foundation of Scaling Solar

Alasdair Miller's picture



Gender-based violence (GBV) is still a widespread problem in Rwanda, with women remaining the primary people affected. However, the country is known to be a pace setter in the fight against this epidemic. Innovative national strategies and policies have been initiated by the government to eliminate GBVand promote gender equality at all levels.

To skip or not to skip (the grid): larger and smaller energy PPPs

Philippe Valahu's picture


Ideas for Action (I4A) is an annual competition centered around financing sustainable development. It was launched in 2015 by the World Bank and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Students and young professionals from around the world enter their ideas and designs for implementing the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which include targets like health and wellbeing, affordable clean energy, and good quality education.

Climate Investment Funds: The quiet motor behind our most impactful climate investments

John Roome's picture

It does not happen often that one of the finest actors of our time tweets about a World Bank supported project and invites all his fans to have a look at the impressive pictures taken from space. In fact, I can’t remember having seen that before.
 
But this is what Oscar winner and climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio did a few months ago when the Noor Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) in Morocco—the largest CSP plant in the world - was opened. Once finalized, in two years, it will provide clean energy to 1.1 million households. I visited the plant two weeks ago and it is truly an impressive site. The indirect benefits of the project might even be larger: it has advanced an important and innovative technology, it has driven down costs of CSP, and it holds important lessons for how public and private sectors can work together in the future.
 
I am proud that the World Bank, jointly with the African Development Bank and a number of foreign investors, supported this cutting-edge solar energy project. But it was made possible thanks to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), which put in US$435 million to “de-risk” the investment, playing an essential role to kickstart the deal. 

African women help their communities go solar

Carolyn Lucey's picture

Growing up on a farm meant I spent very little time in cities. I felt more at home when surrounded by green than grey. As a kid, I saw cities as noisy, bright, busy and quite frankly, confusing. I always thought to myself why would anyone want to live in them? However, when I grew up, I moved to a city to take advantage of the opportunities it provided. I am not alone. More than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities and this number will rise. Cities are hubs of productivity, innovation and vast human capital; but once you live in them you begin to see that they are like any other ecosystem: complex and fragile, whose balance can be easily disturbed. With many cities rapidly growing and evolving, how do you manage this increasing complexity without destroying the ecosystem?

GIS Image.  Source - University of Texas at DallasGeographical Information System (GIS) techniques have proven successful in mapping, analyzing and managing natural ecosystems. It is now time to make use of the same technology to manage, model and design our expanding global system of cities. GIS consists of a proven set of tools that can provide information to leaders at the local and national level to facilitate evidence-driven decision making. It allows us to move beyond 2D paper maps and incorporate everything that lies below, above and around a city to create a 3D digital representation of the city’s ecosystem. By integrating this information into the planning process, it will hopefully lead to harmonized planning across sectors. For example, integrated transport and land use planning and development will allow for economic, social and environmental benefits. More sectors can then be incorporated, with this integration not only happening within the city limits but including the urban periphery, where a lot of urban expansion is currently occurring. This holistic view will allow planners to make cities more livable.

Twelve energy stories you enjoyed reading in 2015

Andy Shuai Liu's picture
Makhtar Diop with Malien Finance Minister Tiéna Coulibaly

 

Here in Mali, as French and Malian troops pursue jihadist groups into the countryside along the country’s borders, the talk everywhere is of “la feuille de route,” a political roadmap that will take this Sahelian country from its triple crises of 2012 on a measured transition towards new elections and a lasting recovery.


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