[REPORT] IRENA says renewables could comprise a quarter of Africa’s energy supply by 2030
What will the world’s energy supply look like 10 years from now? What about 15 or 20 years from now? There is no doubt that it will look somewhat different from the way energy is sourced right now, but there are no limits to the ways in which it will change over the decades. One major expectation in many regions is a broader reliance on renewable power sources like wind and solar. According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Africa has the potential to quadruple its renewable energy output, creating a situation where renewable sources could potentially supply up to a quarter of the continent’s energy needs by 2030.
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As The Guardian reports, the IRENA study finds that Africa as a whole is currently running on five percent renewable energy, but a number of factors contribute to the potential for a much higher percentage of renewable opportunities:
IRENA sees this potential coming not from one source of renewable energy in particular, but rather a diversified mix of four important sources: “hydropower, wind, solar power, and modern biomass systems.” Such a move could reportedly ultimately save African countries billions while improving air quality and public health.
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Of course a common roadblock in achieving sweeping energy reform is the effort and political support needed to start putting the infrastructure in place to make this happen. To ensure that change is able to happen in earnest, the IRENA report urges governments in Africa to support renewable energy through policy and achievable renewable targets, plus investment and financing on a local level where feasible. 25 percent renewable energy reliance might be an ambitious goal, but with the right support in place it’s possible.
[SOURCE: The Guardian]
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.