Tracking the Global Energy Journey in the Last Decade
What do you take with the strides made toward ensuring we are energy efficient as a world? In your thinking, have we progressed towards the positive or we are still dragging behind in our quest to ensure everybody in the world over has access to clean and sustainable energy as stipulated in the SDG?
It is important to do a periodical audit always as a road map to help us understand where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. y considering these three aspects, we can then gauge if we are making progress or not and we can use that information to formulate strategies for a better future.
Access to electricity
In 2010, we had about 1.2 billion people without access to electricity. By 2020, that number had reduced to about 789 million people. This decrease prompts us to appreciate the efforts that have been made to promote such growth. It is now upon us to ensure that we reduce that number to zero.
In addition, the inequalities around this global address need to be addressed as a majority of the 789 million reside in sub-Saharan Africa. And even then, the energy costs for those who have access to electricity in Africa are undeniably high.
Access to clean cooking
10 years ago, about 3 billion people had no access to clean cooking options. As of today, there are still about 2.8 billion people without access to clean cooking options. What this means is that there has been slow progress in enhancing the development, innovation, and making available clean cooking options.
What is meant by clean cooking options is those options that have little to no effect on the environment. Options that are carbon neutral. This slow progress calls for accelerated progress in this decade to reduce that number to less than 1.5 billion people by the year 2030.
A fight against climate is never complete if we are not addressing the very roots that may be overlooked yet very detrimental. Overdependence on biomass such as firewood and charcoal is very dangerous as it increases atmospheric carbon as well as harms the environment when the trees are cut and not replaced.
It is worth appreciating though to note that in the last decade, there has been a doubling of international financial investments towards supporting access to clean energy. By 2020, the international financial support given in support of clean energy was USD 21.4 billion up from USD 10.1 billion.
The call for us to embrace renewables has been getting louder. Renewable energy is the way to go and most countries seem to understand this. Is it interesting to note though that in 2010, only 16.3% of our energy consumption came from renewables?
A decade later, that number has increased by 1% to reach 17.3 %. In an honest opinion, we cannot clap very loudly over this development as much as there is a positive deviation. We need to double our efforts in ensuring that over 50% of our energy consumption in the near future comes from renewables.
It is important to also note that by 2017, the primary energy intensity had reduced to 5.0 MJ/USD from 5.9MJ/USD. Primary energy intensity per GDP measures how much energy is required to generate one unit of GDP. This, thus, translates to positive development and one which should reduce below the 5 mark in this decade.
We now know where we have come from and where we are. It is this information that is making me rally for increased equity in energy access to all people globally. It is this information still that makes me rally for increased resource allocation to develop the renewable energy sector.
A lot needs to be done to ensure that by 2030, at least we could have it to the 30% mark in terms of the amount of energy that we will be consuming derived from renewables. We must remember that we only have one earth and it is the inheritance we will leave for the generations to come.
The big question now remains, what type of earth are we leaving behind. The answer should spark us int0 action to ensure that whatever we would be leaving behind would be worth it.