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TheBumpyRideto
Copenhagen
By Bertrand Magné
T
hecountdowntoCopenhagencontinues.Governments OECD countries, its share increases from 41% to 44%. The
across the world are preparing their negotiating shareofnaturalgasintotalgenerationfallsslightly,asaresult
positions for December’s UN Climate Change ofhigherprices.Theshareofoildropstoabout2%by2030,as
ConferenceinCopenhagenwhere–allbeingwell–majorsteps highoilpricesmakeoilburningextremelyexpensive.
willbetakentoputtheworldonadifferent,moresustainable Nuclearpower,constrainedbytheassumptionofunchanged
emissionstrajectory.Addressingtheclimatechangechallenge government policies, also loses market share, which drops
willrequireacompletetransformationoftheenergysectorin from15%in2006to13%by2015andfurtherto10%by2030
allcountries.Thepowersectorespeciallywillhavetoundergo as nuclear power capacity does not increase as rapidly as
a dramatic shift to low-carbon technologies and halve demandforelectricity.Nuclearelectricitygenerationincreases
emission by 2030, as the World Energy Outlook 2008 (WEO from 2,793 TWh in 2006 to almost 3,460 TWh in 2030. The
2008)scenariosillustrate. share of renewables rises considerably, from 18% in 2006 to
20%in2015and23%in2030.Thisresultsfromlowercostsas
Where We’re Heading: The Reference Scenario renewable technologies mature, assumed higher fossil-fuel
Whiletherewillundoubtedlybeheateddebateoversomany prices, which make renewables relatively more competitive,
divisiveissuesinCopenhagen,onethingisclear:Businessas and strong policy support. The renewables industry has the
usual is not an option. Annual world energy-related CO
2
opportunity to exploit this development to eliminate its
emissions – which account for almost two-thirds of all relianceonsubsidiesandtobringemergingtechnologiesinto
greenhousegasemissions–grewby2.5 the mainstream. The contribution of
Gtfrom1990to2000;by2006theyhad
Worldelectricitygeneration...
carbon dioxide capture and storage in
shotupafurther4.5Gttoreach28Gt.
Based on current government policies
reaches33,000TWh
thisscenarioisnegligible.
Delving deeper into the Reference
(adopted before mid-2008) emissions
by2030
Scenario shows that the power sector
willjumpbyafurther45%to41Gtin accounts for a large proportion of the
2030 according to the Reference Scenario of the WEO 2008 growth in emissions, assuming current policies. World
publishedattheendoflastyear. electricitygenerationisprojectedtogrowatanannualrateof
Whatdoesthismeaninclimatechangeterms?Basedonthe 3.2% in the period 2006 to 2015, slowing to 2% per year on
IPCC’s reports and taking into account the current trends in average in 2015-2030. It reaches 33,000 TWh by 2030. The
energy CO
2
and other GHGs, the world is on course for a projectedslowdownindemandreflectsashiftintheeconomies
concentrationofatmosphericgreenhousegasesofsome1,000 of developing countries away from energy-intensive heavy
partspermillionofCO
2
-equivalent–withacorrespondingrise manufacturingtowardslighterindustriesandservices,aswell
in global temperatures of about 6 degrees Celsius. as saturation effects in the OECD and some emerging
Consequencesfortheplanetaretooscarytocontemplatefor economies.Mostoftheprojectedgrowthinelectricitydemand
manyastheynotablyincludeincreasingrisksofsealevelrises, occurs outside the OECD. In the OECD, electricity demand is
storm damage, infectious disease, droughts and widespread projectedtorisebylessthanathirdbetween2006and2030.
ecosystemsmortality – aswell asrisksofabruptshiftsinthe Bycontrast,demandinnon-OECDcountriesgrowsby146%.
climatesystem. Asnotedabove,globalCO
2
emissionsfrompowerplantsrise
Thelong-terminternationalfossilfuelpriceprojectionsthat to18Gtby2030inthe Reference Scenario,nearly60%higher
underpin the Reference Scenario have been revised upward in thanin2006.Theseprojectionsindicateadramaticincreasein
the WEO 2008 reflecting new analysis that shows the strong emissions from power plants in non-OECD countries, which
riskofaglobalsupplycrunchinthefuture.Thisispositivefor doublebetween2006and2030.Theseemissionscomemainly
the climate change effort, as renewables and nuclear power fromcoal-firedpowerplants.
arelikelytobecomemorecompetitiveagainstcoalorgas-fired
generationinmanypartsoftheworld.Nevertheless,globally, Global Energy Trends & Climate Policy to 2030
the dominance of fossil fuels looks set to continue, unless Current trends as depicted in the Reference Scenario are
policiesarechanged.IntheReference Scenario,coalremainsthe patently unsustainable. The United Nations Framework
main fuel for power generation worldwide throughout the Convention on Climate Change negotiationsin Copenhagen
periodto2030(Figure1).Onthebackofstronggrowthinnon- at the end of December need to move the world onto an
14 worldPower2009
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