Why Should Renewable Energies Be Adopted in Developing Countries?
The potentials for Renewable Energies in developing and take-off countries are immense. Compared to industrialized countries and conventional energy sources, Renewable Energies in developing countries are often applicable commercially because of lack of infrastructure and underdeveloped energy markets. Renewable Energies like photovoltaics, biomass, and wind energy are applicable on a small scale and decentralized basis where conventional fossil energy systems would require huge initial investments in infrastructure.
Around 50 per cent of world’s population is living in rural areas, out of which 3.1 billion people live in the rural areas in developing countries alone (UN World Urbanization Prospects; 2007). Only 30 per cent of villages in Southern America, 20 per cent of the villages in Asia and 5 per cent of villages in Africa are connected to electricity grid supply. In total, there are 2 billion people in rural areas in developing countries who do not have access to affordable electricity supply due to low population density, lack of infrastructure and low economical development. But energy supply is crucial to any sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. It affects all aspects of development – social, economic, and environmental – including livelihoods, access to water, economical productivity, health care, and education in developing countries. None of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals can be met without major improvement in the quality and quantity of energy services in developing countries.
What does Energy Poverty mean?
Energy Poverty is a substantial part of the ‘vicious circle of poverty’. Lack of access to clean and efficient energy systems means deprivations in health, education, food and livelihoods of the world’s poorest people: Without water pumping people depend on surface water which is very often contaminated with disease-carrying waste and agricultural runoff. The agricultural production is hindered by lack of irrigation systems, which leads to the loss of day-light hours to traditional fuel-gathering, severely impeding economic progress. Homes are lighted with kerosene lamps, which give dim and wavering light, emit cancer-causing smoke, and cause thousands of house fires every year. Also the small businesses are severely hampered as nightfall comes at about 6:30 p.m. in the tropes; that means the effectively ending the productive work day without access to electric light. In fact, a lot of these constraints lead to urban migration which causes explosive growth of cities in developing countries, straining the natural environment and overwhelming cities’ social service systems.
Mission of Intelli Help: Technology and Knowhow Transfer
Due to underdeveloped markets and lack of investment capital the biggest markets for Renewable Energies are not the countries in the south even if the most demand is here. Currently, the biggest market for photovoltaic is, astonishingly enough, Germany, a country with a population of only 82 million while billions of people worldwide are living without any electricity. The current situation seems to be quite absurd and need to be solved: There is a real demand for Renewable Energies from app. 2 billion people in the developing countries but no providers due to the lack of investment capital. On the other hand there is a kind of politically constructed energy demand with comparatively huge investment capital in the industrialized countries. Over the last decade the PV industry was growing and growing (which is the aim of the Renewable Energy Law) but produced exclusively for the markets of industrialized countries.
We believe that there is a mutual interest of both sides, the PV industry in the northern countries and the underdeveloped markets in the south, to cooperate in the mission of fulfilling the basic energy demands of billions of people: The markets in the south cannot build the capacities to fulfill the energy needs itself because of its devastating structural weaknesses. The PV industry in the north depends on political markets which can rapidly change its general framework by only some political decisions. In order to diversify their business and to reduce the dependency on political markets the PV industry should not loose the focus on the demands of markets in the south. Therefore Intelli Help takes it as its aim to connect the photovoltaic industry of industrialized countries to the underdeveloped markets in developing countries and channel the interests and economic abilities of the PV industry to the desperate energy needs of the insufficient supplied energy sectors in the developing countries. Of course, these demands have not the financial potential to replace northern markets currently or in the near future – a slow, sustainable and long-ranging market built-up is needed.
The Scope of Intelli Help
The core task of Intelli help is to enable PV projects for those in need by linking donors and donees. The Kyoto Protocol commits the industrialized countries for transferring knowhow in the field of Renewable Energy technologies to the developing countries. This transfer is not yet sufficiently done. Therefore Intelli Help will build networks between donors from the industrialized countries’ PV industry and receiving organizations like local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), local (small) entrepreneurs’ associations, self help groups and others from developing countries and their supporting NGOs in the industrialized countries. We are supporting the Corporate Social Responsibility of private companies in channeling it to concrete project measurements by assisting and managing communication and cooperation between them and the institutions from developing countries.
Intelli Help will help to promote sustainable development project ideas from local visionaries and support its implementation; use local knowledge and networks; support community contribution and ownership; adopt entrepreneurial ideas and develop smart Renewable Energy solutions. Intelli Help arranges consulting for decision makers in governments, civil society and private economy in developing countries for improving the framework for Renewable Energies in their countries because often they have huge information needs in technical details, required outer conditions, planning, installation, operation and maintenance of Renewable Energy systems.