The IEI's Journal Energy for Sustainable Development brings the following papers:

1. Energy analysis of Jatropha plantation systems for biodiesel production in Thailand

Jatropha curcas L. has been considered as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production in several tropical countries. Two Jatropha plantation models currently being considered in Thailand, a perennial plantation for 20 years and annual harvesting, are compared vis-à-vis the energy benefits. The advantage of the perennial plantation is that fruit yield is low in the first 2 years but stabilizes after the second year; thus, the biodiesel production is maximized. On the other hand, the biodiesel yield for annual harvesting is low but substantial energy is gained from the wood which can be used for power production. The overall energy output from the annual system is about twice that of the perennial system whereas the biodiesel production is less than half. The energy values of both the systems are high and the net energy ratios as high as 6–7 indicating a substantial energy benefit.

Read more here

2. The analysis of country-to-country CDM permit trading using the gravity model in international trade

The fairness and effectiveness of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting economic development is a matter of substantial concern for the international community as it works towards another GHG reduction agreement in Copenhagen. Among other reasons, the CDM has been criticized as favoring some countries and disfavoring others, resulting in an imbalance in the distribution of development projects, thus undermining one of the original purposes of this institutional arrangement. In this paper, CDM projects were evaluated using econometric models based on international trade theory. Although the CDM suffers from imbalances as have been noted elsewhere, the primary determinant of CDM projects is the total GHG emissions from host and credit countries. GHG emissions in each were positively and consistently related to the CDM projects. Project size and the extent of a host country's infrastructure (such as road, rail lines, airports, electricity supply, telephone and internet connections) were each important determinants. Finally, results are discussed in the context of policy-based action that might limit or otherwise affect CDM implementation after the Copenhagen.

Read more here

3. Impacts of Electricity Access to Rural Enterprises in Bolivia, Tanzania and Vietnam

There is little empirical evidence to underpin strategies of poverty reduction through income generation in small scale rural enterprises through supplying energy. This paper reports on research findings from a three country study in Bolivia, Tanzania and Vietnam which aimed to provide insights into the scope and depth of impacts of modern energy services. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered using structure and semi-structured interviews. The nature of the data collected was shaped by the Livelihoods framework. An analytical framework of four questions was used to synthesise the findings. What energy transitions are taking place in small rural enterprises, who benefits? Does the presence of modern energy carriers/technology stimulate production? Does an increase in productivity lead to a decrease in poverty in terms of financial capital? What is the impact of the changes in energy carrier/technology on the other four types of capital in the livelihood framework?

For all of the above, the dominant contextual factors influencing the process were noted.

Electricity was the modern energy carrier surveyed in the three countries. In answer to the questions regarding scope of impacts, at least for electricity, the impacts appear to depend on the location of the enterprise with regard to diversity of demand for enterprise services. The section of the population with the largest direct benefits in terms of increased financial assets and job opportunities consists of the existing better-off members of the community and their extended family. However, the benefits of improved working conditions for many entrepreneurs and workers and of both time and access to new and better quality products and services to customers of enterprises reach a much larger group of people, and these impacts can provide a substantial impact on poverty, if not on the financial dimension of poverty.

Read more here

4. Disputed wind directions: Reinvigorating wind power development in Taiwan

This case study, which analyzes wind power development policy in Taiwan, investigates a theme that is commonly encountered by policy makers in a number of policy settings—how can appropriate policies be developed when two (or more) seemingly valid, yet disparate scientific or technical estimates confound objective analysis? The paper adopts the context of wind power development policy in Taiwan to demonstrate how to employ organizational analysis to identify factors which influence subjective assumptions underpinning disparate estimates of wind power potential and then demonstrates the application of two concepts from chaos theory – fitness landscapes and strategic real options – for guiding policy making despite the existence of technological dissent. In contrast to progressively declining feed-in tariffs that are commonly associated with fledgling renewable energy programs, this study introduces the concept of progressively escalating feed-in tariffs to encourage the development of mature markets—in this case, the Taiwan wind power market.

Read more here

5. Decomposition of energy consumption and energy intensity in Indian manufacturing industries

Of the total final energy consumption in India, the industrial sector accounts for about 36%, of which the manufacturing sector consumes about 66% (2004–2005 figures) with iron and steel, chemicals and petrochemicals, pulp and paper and cement industries being the largest energy users. In the recent past, energy intensity has been decreasing in the manufacturing sector, mainly due to fuel substitution away from coal in some sectors, most notably cement. Industrial output in developing countries like India continues to expand owing to rising populations and catching up on economic growth. This can result in higher energy use—energy provided primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels—and thereby to higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Using decomposition analysis, we show that most of the intensity reductions are driven purely by structural effect rather than actual improvement in energy efficiency.

Read more here

6. Hybrid systems for decentralized power generation in Bangladesh

When renewable energy technologies are used in decentralized and remote areas, they can be coupled with diesel generators to improve the total system reliability. In this paper, wind–diesel generator–battery, wind–photovoltaic (PV)–diesel generator–battery, PV–diesel generator–battery hybrid and diesel generator systems for generating electricity in the rural areas of Bangladesh are analyzed. The main objective of the present study is to determine the optimum size of systems able to fulfill the requirements of 50 kWh/day primary load with 11 kW peak load for 50 households for three remote sites located at Cox's Bazar, Sylhet and Dinajpur. The methodology applied provides a useful and simple approach for sizing and analyzing the hybrid systems using HOMER, an optimization model for renewable energies. The aim is to identify a configuration among a set of systems that meets the desired system reliability requirements with the lowest electricity unit cost. The result of the analysis is a list of feasible power supply systems, sorted according to their net present cost. Furthermore, sensitivity diagrams, showing the influence of solar radiation, wind speed and diesel prices on the optimum solutions are also presented. The analysis results show that PV (6 kW)–diesel generator (10 kW)–battery hybrid system is most economically feasible and least cost of energy is about 25.4 Tk/kWh (1 USD = 68.5 Taka). The result also indicates that the decrease in CO2 emissions by using the feasible hybrid system with 40% renewable fraction is about 38% as compared to the diesel-only system.

Read more here

7. Potential of distributed wood-based biopower systems serving basic electricity needs in rural Uganda

Current efforts to improve electricity services in Uganda evolve around satisfying growing urban demand as well as stabilizing and boosting a low electricity supply. Although virtually non-existent, rural electrification is receiving very little attention. This paper investigates the potential of wood-based biopower fueled from coppicing shrubs on its feasibility to provide affordable basic electricity services to rural Ugandan households. Gasification was the specific technology we assessed. In the calculations, a worst case scenario was chosen for wood-based biopower to compete with alternative sources of electricity: Cost and land use estimates assumed a rather high household consumption (30 kWh/month), a low household size (8 persons), a low area productivity (3 oven-dried tons per ha per year), a low electrical conversion efficiency (15%) and a high demand competing for fertile land with the biopower system. Cost estimates considered a high biomass price (18.5 US$/odt), a low capacity factor for the biopower system of 0.5 (therefore requiring installation of a larger unit) and high capital costs of 2300 US$ per kW installed. Additional pressure on fertile land would be negligible. Such biopower systems can outcompete other sources of electricity from a micro and macro-economic standpoint when looking at the local scale. Results indicate that biopower can deliver better and more energy services at 47 US$/yr and household or 0.11 US$/kWh which is below current average costs for e.g. off-grid lighting in rural Ugandan households. Additionally, only this biopower option offers the ability to households, sell wood to the biopower system and contribute at least four times as much to the local economy than the other electricity options used as terms of comparison. Further research has to focus on developing business plans and loan schemes for such biopower options including sustainable fuelwood supply chains based on coppicing shrubs which have the ability to contribute to agricultural site improvements. The approach outlined in this paper can further serve as a general framework to compare different options of electricity production across technologies and fuel sources especially for rural development purposes incorporating a multitude of aspects.

Read more here