Present Status and Potential of Renewable Energy RE

According to the data in Table 1.3, 13.3% of the world's total primary energy supply came from RE in 2003. However, almost 80% of the RE supply was from biomass (Figure 1.8), and in developing countries it is mostly converted by traditional open combustion, which is very inefficient. Because of its inefficient use, biomass resources presently supply only about 20% of what they could if converted by more efficient, already available technologies. As it stands, biomass provides only 11% of the world total primary energy, which is much less than its real potential. The total technologically sustainable biomass energy potential for the world is 3-4 TWe (UNDP 2004), which is more than the entire present global electrical generating capacity of about 3 TWe.

In 2003, shares of biomass and hydropower in the total primary energy mix of the world were about 11% and 2%, respectively. All of the other renewables, including solar thermal, solar PV, wind, geothermal, and ocean combined, provided only about 0.5% of the total primary energy. During the same year, biomass combined with hydroelectric resources provided more than 50% of all the primary

TABLE 1.3 2003 Fuel Shares in World Total Primary Energy Supply

Source

Share (%)

Oil

34.4

Natural Gas

21.2

Coal

24.4

Nuclear

6.5

Renewables

Hydro 16.2%

FIGURE 1.8 2003 resource shares in world renewable energy supply. (Data from IEA, World Energy Outlook, IEA, Paris, 2004. With permission.)

Liquid biomass 1%

Renewable municipal waste 0.7%

_Gas from biomass 0.7%

Solid biomass/charcoal 77.5%

FIGURE 1.8 2003 resource shares in world renewable energy supply. (Data from IEA, World Energy Outlook, IEA, Paris, 2004. With permission.)

TABLE 1.4 Share of Renewable Energy (RE)

in 2003 Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES)

on a Regional Basis

Region

Share of Renewables

TPES

Renewables

in TPES (%)

MTOE

MTOE

Africa

558.9

279.9

50.1

Latin America

463.9

135.5

29.2

Asia

1224.4

400

32.7

India

553.4

218

39.4

China

1425.9

243.4

17.1

Non-OECD" Europe

103.5

9.7

9.4

Former U.S.S.R.

961.7

27.5

2.9

Middle East

445.7

3.2

0.7

OECD

5394.7

304.7

5.6

U.S.A.

2280.8

95.3

4.2

World

10,578.7

1403.7

13.3

a OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Source: From IEA, Renewables Information, IEA, Paris, 2005. With permission.

TABLE 1.5 Electricity from RE in 2002

Energy Source 2002

TWh (%)

Hydropower

2610

89

Biomass

207

7

Wind

52

2

Geothermal

57

2

Solar

1

0

Tide/Wave

1

0

Total

2927

100

energy in Africa, 29.2% in Latin America, and 32.7% in Asia (Table 1.4; IEA 2005). However, biomass is used very inefficiently for cooking in these countries. Such use has also resulted in significant health problems, especially for women.

The total share of all renewables for electricity production in 2002 was about 17%, a vast majority (89%) of it being from hydroelectric power (Table 1.5).

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