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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Spotlight on Energy | World Energy Research Pioneers of a green energy future
 
Projected increase in energy demand from 2005 to 2030

Pioneers of a green energy future

World Energy Research

The fact is our world’s energy needs are increasing daily as countries modernise and expand – we are at the beginning of a global energy revolution. For both environmental reasons and security of supply, it is clear that traditional forms of energy are no longer the answer to the growing needs of the world’s population.

And the answer is?

  • The world’s oceans – covering about 70% of the globe – represent a vast source of untapped energy that will become ever more important in the near future.
  • Globally, in 2007, solar cell production increased by 50% and has been doubling every two years.
  • Hydro electricity currently supplies around 20% of the world’s electrical power but there is huge masses of potential.
  • Wind is the world’s fastest-growing source of power generation, both onshore and offshore, with an average annual growth of 29% over the last ten years.
  • Geothermal energy shows considerable progress in locations where activity is particularly accessible, such as Iceland and California.
  • Biofuels are relatively inexpensive to produce, where research is needed is in refining the processes.

Over the last decade, the US, Canada and the UK created energy policies to encourage green energy projects and cleaner use of existing resources, and China and Japan are also making strides. Areas such as renewable energy are also the future of nations like Guatemala and Malaysia, who are experiencing countrywide growth in this field. Green energy is projected to show 67% industry growth by 2020.

We often hear horror stories of companies entering struggling communities and making massive profits without ever rewarding the local community. The Guatemala Energy Projects, born out of research and talks with the government, are an example of the opposite. Continued support is enabling the city of Cuilco to have clean water and paved roads for the very first time. The city’s schools were worn down and children did not have proper supplies or learning atmosphere. Now the schools are being either significantly rebuilt or remodelled, and all children receive backpacks full of necessary supplies. Cuilco, and its surrounding cities, will also finally have a steady power source from the turbine plant and fresh water on a continual basis.

Guatemala has rich sources of renewable and non-renewable energy, but just a small percentage has been accessed – only 7% of the country’s hydroelectric capacity has been tapped. With construction contracts for three new hydro electric projects in Guatemala, supported by the Guatemalan government, WER also has contracts in place for 13 other projects in the country.

The country’s resources in solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy are rich enough to energise all of Central America. Solar energy alone could generate enough power to meet the region’s needs for the next five or six years.
A WER spokesperson said, “There’s a sad irony here. Guatemala possesses all these sources of energy. Plus it’s the largest oil-producing nation in Central America. Yet it has to import expensive foreign fuel oil to run its power stations. Our research and development work in the country is turning up new ways to make Guatemala energy self-sufficient in the near future.”

The key to driving alternative energy sources is research and innovation. World Energy Research provides support and partnerships with innovative companies – to try to reduce damaging dependence on fossil fuels and provide the world with a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future.

Investment and research company, World Energy Research, looks for energy sources which improve everyone’s quality of life. It is currently involved in over 150 projects valued at over US$2.5 billion. Large-scale projects include 18 hydro electricity plants in Guatemala and throughout Central and South America.

Its interests include also solar fields in México and Spain, carbon credit acquisitions and land title rights throughout the world. Added to these, are ventures in the geothermal, ocean, wind and biofuel sectors.

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World Energy Research
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